& LAND USE
About 70% of the Wetlands on the Guntersville Lake Section are located on
Wildlife Management Areas and Refuge acres that are under long-term easement
with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Before the massive transformation of the
Tennessee by Locks and Dams, the river was navigable from Knoxville,
southwest to Decatur. It then was unnavigable for 37 miles over the Muscle
Shoals and then navigable again from Florence northwestward to Paducah, KY.
This condition for river-transport was wholly unacceptable to the
enterprising settlers of the region. The first attempt to overcome the
mighty Muscle Shoals began in 1836 when the state of Alabama built a canal
around the shoals. The canal was very limited in its success.
River commerce began in earnest with the advent of the steamboat and then by
diesel driven barges. River commerce is now possible the length of the
Tennessee due to the construction of Locks and Dams.
Today an estimated 34,000 barges carry about 50 million tons of goods up and
down the Tennessee River annually.
1993, more than 48.2 million tons of raw materials were transported over the
Tennessee River Waterway.
barges are moved by towboats that can push as many as eighteen barges.