The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 1998
As leader of the National Waterways Conference, Inc. for 38 years, Mr. Harry N. Cook has successfully advanced the interests of waterways proponents and generated extraordinary awareness of the inland waterways in the Government. He worked tirelessly to promote responsible investments and funding for the infrastructure that allows the entire waterways system – and the tens of thousands of jobs that depend upon it – to remain effective and viable.
Mr. Cook began his river career on the Tennessee – Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority, where he learned the fundamentals of waterborne transportation. He joined the National Waterways Conference in 1965. Guided and directed by a diverse and well-represented Board, Mr. Cook set forth to ensure that every waterway interest – port or terminal, inland or coastal, carrier or shipper – was represented by a single, unified organization.
Each year, as Congress considered funding for the Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works programs, Mr. Cook worked to ensure that no unfair user charges, taxes or funding cuts would be placed on any segment of the industry.