Our HISTORY

The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa was officially dedicated on June 5, 1971.

Celebrating the Vision

PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE​

In 2021, we celebrate the Tulsa Port of Catoosa’s 50th Anniversary! On June 5, 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!

1946
Early 1960s
1971
January 21, 1971
June 5, 1971
1974
1980
1984
1997
July 2005
October 13, 2015
May 10, 2016
January 1, 2017
December 2017
October 2019
June 2020
September 2020
2021
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Cost to Build the Waterway System in 1960s
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Tons Shipped Since January 1971
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Presidential Visit

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