Celebrating the Vision: Past, Present and Future

In 2021, we celebrate the Tulsa Port of Catoosa’s 50th Anniversary! On June 5th, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon officially dedicated the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa in a historic and memorable visit. As we reflect on and commemorate the leadership, dedication and advocacy efforts the past fifty years, we also look ahead to continuing the vision and impact of the Tulsa Ports!

Early 1960s
January 21, 1971
June 5, 1971
July 2005
October 13, 2015
May 10, 2016
January 1, 2017
December 2017
October 2019
June 2020
September 2020
$ 0
Cost to Build the Waterway System in 1960s
Tons Shipped Since January 1971
Presidential Visit

Schedule of Events

  • Time Capsule

    In January, we kicked off our 50th Anniversary celebrations with a Time Capsule ceremony. The time capsule is a way for us to treasure the past and remember how far we have come as we look towards our exciting future.

  • TulsaPeople Feature

    TulsaPeople shared the love for the Tulsa Port of Catoosa's 50th Anniversary in the February issue of the magazine! This wonderful feature highlights our Port's history, the visionaries who made this happen and the future impact our ports have in Oklahoma.

  • Wonders of the Waterway

    We look forward to sharing some photos from the past and present, as well as providing our local schools with "Wonders of the Waterway", an educational activity book that encourages an interest in our waterway and the industry.

  • Toasting 50 Years! A VIP, outdoor event.

    We look forward to hosting an outdoor, elegant VIP event experience, toasting 50 years of past and future prosperity.

  • June 4, 2021: A Commemorative Ceremony

    Details coming soon!

Prominent Figures

Senator Kerr

Robert S. Kerr was the first person to be born in Oklahoma to become our Governor. He was the 12th. He was also the first Governor of Oklahoma to go on and serve in the Senate. He was an advocate for flood control on the Arkansas River and all of the benefits that it offered. The navigation system was eventually named after him.

Senator McClellan

John L. McClellan was the longest running Senator out of the state of Arkansas. He was also an advocate for flood control on the Arkansas River and all of the benefits that it offered. The navigation system was eventually named after him.

Bob Portiss

Bob Portiss came to work for the City of Tulsa Rogers County Port Authority in March of 1973 in the position of Manager of Traffic and Sales. Bob worked hard for the Port Authority and was appointed Port Director on July 1st, 1984. He was only the fourth person to serve in this capacity. He served in that position until he retired December 30, 2016. Bob was given the title Port Director Emeritus and still advocates for the Port and the Waterway.

Photo Gallery

Construction of Dam, 1960

Rivers and Harbors Act, 1946

Bank Reconstruction, 1952-1963

President Richard M. Nixon visit, 1971

Port Authority found 2,000 acres of land,1967

First barge to enter the Tulsa Ports, 1971

Share Your Story

Share your story and celebrate with us! If you or someone you know attended President Nixon’s dedication in June of 1971 or you have photos, stories, memorabilia to share about the Tulsa Port of Catoosa – we’d love to chat with you! Please complete the online form below and we’ll contact you. We look forward to hearing your story!