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National Waterways Foundation Releases Updated State Profiles

February 16, 2024   The Waterways Journal

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The National Waterways Foundation (NWF) has released updated waterways profiles for the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Taken together, the states cover the watersheds of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, along with the Gulf Coast and Great Lakes regions.


The NWF used and cross-referenced updated figures from a number of federal agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data for 2021; the Corps of Engineers; and the Freight Analysis Framework of the Federal Highway Administration, produced through a partnership between the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Federal Highway Administration, which integrates data from a variety of sources to create a comprehensive picture of freight movement among states and major metropolitan areas by all modes of transportation.


The NWF used the cross-referenced data to create visual data dashboards that can be used to provide talking points about the impacts of waterborne commerce. The dashboards show top commodities by tonnage and value; contributions to tax revenues in each state; length of waterways in each state; number of public ports; and total economic contribution. The updated figures provide a more recent and accurate picture of the economic contributions that waterborne commerce makes to each of the states.


“These profiles highlight the critical value of the inland waterways to key states and are a great additional source of information,” NWF Chairman Matt Woodruff said. “The National Waterways Foundation is proud to have commissioned this important project.”


The NWF used an economic model called IMPLAN to calculate the total economic impacts in terms of jobs, personal income, gross state output, total output and state and local tax revenue.


The new state inland waterways profiles and a methodology document detailing how the data was calculated for the profiles is available at