About Us

About Us 2017-01-25T09:52:10+00:00

Mission Statement:

The Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improve and market the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin through education, promotion, and public advocacy.

Our Vision: To be the pre-eminent “VOICE” of the Coosa, Alabama, and Tallapoosa Rivers


To maintain , create, and develop economic use of the Coosa, Alabama, and Tallapoosa Rivers
To generate and sustain adequate funding for the operation of the (a) organization and (b) river projects
To raise awareness of the benefits of the river system through contact with the general public, business community, and government officials
To effectively manage and grow the organization by attracting and retaining committed board members, staff, and membership
To establish and foster a network of mutually beneficial partnerships that supports the CARIA mission and goals


The Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association is a not-for-profit organization that believes in promoting the economic and social value of our inland waterways and reservoirs. We believe it is possible to have economic growth and still protect the vital ecological health of our waterways. This belief has evolved from many years of promoting the development of reservoirs and the ancillary benefits that accrue from those essential bodies of water, including navigation, flood control, recreation, water supply, and hydropower. Where would our society be without those vital functions?

It is possible to reap the benefits of those functions while protecting the ecological health of our basin watersheds. We can have both growth and environmental health. We can ship commerce on our inland waterways without irreparably damaging the environment. We can attempt to control the damage of floods without extensive harm to the natural processes. We can manage our reservoirs to provide recreation for our people, water for our communities and industry, and renewable hydropower for the benefit of all without ripping the fabric of our economic and sociologic infrastructure.

Have reservoirs modified the environment? Most certainly, but the environment will adapt to changes as it has for millions of years. Those changes have begotten problems, which we will not solve overnight or through drastic, extreme measures. And we must be prepared to accept certain costs. The key is to engineer the changes with reason based upon the vast amount of knowledge we are gaining every day and a comprehensive evaluation of the practicality of any action affecting a waterway.

A balanced and reasonable approach to developing our waterways and protecting our environment – that is what the Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association believes will be of greatest benefit to society.


  • A forum for discussion and exchange of information.Through annual and regional meetings, CARIA members can voice their concerns and discuss the relative merits of issues affecting the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa Basin.
  • An advocate for continued federal investment in the development of waterways.CARIA maintains an active liaison with the congressional representatives from Alabama and Georgia to promote the federal investment necessary to maintain and operate those waterway projects beneficial to the quality of life of people within the ACT Basin.
  • An advocate for private investment of businesses that use the waterways for transportation, water supply, or development.One of CARIA’s primary objectives is to maintain a navigable waterway on the Alabama River between Mobile and Montgomery. Maintaining certain flow rates are key to ensure sufficient water supply to several businesses for cooling and processing during manufacture and distribution of products.
  • A communications link with government agencies, regional and national waterway organizations, and other interest groups.CARIA maintains contact with groups or agencies interested in the development of waterways through attendance at meetings, conferences, public hearings, correspondence, and other means.
  • A unified voice on waterway issuesWith its longstanding history of advocacy for waterway development, CARIA is recognized as a significant voice in the region on issues affecting the ACT Basin.As such, it has been regarded as a primary stakeholder within the Basin by local, state, and federal agencies.
  • A liaison with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Coast Guard.
  • A source of information on economic and educational data pertaining to the inland waterways system.CARIA has access to databases of information on the inland waterways system. Many of those databases are available through links found on this website.
  • CARIA promotes the benefits of barge transportation.Inland barge transportation carries 15% of the nation’s domestic cargo, most of which is bulk material and outsized finished products. The barges that carry that cargo offer several economic and environmental advantages that make the inland waterways transportation system a valuable asset to the nation’s economic and social well being.


Our membership consists of local government agencies, large and small businesses, lake associations, and individuals who support efforts to maintain and improve federal, state, local, and private waterway projects that enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin. We have annual dues based on categories of membership and ability to pay. For those dues, our members receive several benefits and services in line with our mission and goals.


Benefits of being a member of CARIA:

  • One voice on waterway issues covering the entire ACT Basin
  • Database of information regarding the economic benefits of the inland waterways system
  • Quarterly newsletter with indepth information on current issues affecting the Alabama River waterway
  • Website with latest news and updates on current issues
  • Annual meeting