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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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MISSISSIPPI RIVER PORTS OF EASTERN IOWA AND WESTERN ILLINOIS. In 2019 Dubuque leaders joined a regional effort to enhance Iowa's and Illinois' image as major in-land ports on the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. In October, 2019 the Quad Cities based Bi-State Regional Commission sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers notifying them of the plan to request that a 221-mile section of the Mississippi River from Keokuk, Iowa to Dubuque, a fifteen county region with seventy barge terminals, be federally recognized as a port statistical area.

In 2012 more than $5.2 billion worn of commodities were shipped along waterways in Iowa. This marked the state as one of the twenty busiest inland ports in the nation and 58th busiest U. S. port overall. Iowa is the only state that ships enough tonnage along the river to be ranked as a top 100 port, but lacks federal recognition. This has resulted in Iowa and Illinois communities being unrecognized for their contribution to the nation's economic health and global trade.

Being designated a "metropolitan statistical area" results in a city or region gaining greater visibility and identity. The same would occur with the designation of a port statistical area. Such a designation would aid in obtaining environmental restoration, port expansion and improvements, and lock and dam repairs from federal funding.



Barton, Thomas J., "Dubuque Leaders Eye Federal Port Recognition," Telegraph Herald, October 16, 2019, p. 5A