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Award Winners

Achievement Award Winners

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.

Senator John C. Culver

Honored in 1998

During Senator John C. Culver’s sixteen years of service in the U.S. Congress, he translated his affection for the river into projects of lasting benefit for the nation.

Senator Culver was instrumental in preserving the Delta Queen. The 1966 Safety at Sea Law threatened to force the Delta Queen out of service because it required all-steel structures. Senator Culver led the successful effort to secure a federal exemption for the Delta Queen. Thousands of people have experienced the joy of riding the famous steamboat and, hundreds of thousands more have witnessed her majestically paddling the rivers of America.

Senator Culver authored the Endangered Species Act and played a key role in obtaining funds for a visitor’s center for the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge, at Marquette, Iowa. He secured funds for flood protection walls and levees for the cities of Dubuque and Clinton, Iowa, as well as numerous smaller Iowa communities along the river devastated by the great flood of 1965. He authored legislation supporting the Great River Road and helped acquire the steam dredge William M. Black for the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and National Rivers Hall of Fame.

A graduate of Harvard College (cum laude) and the Harvard Law School, Senator Culver also studied at Cambridge as a Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholar at Emmanuel College. He has served as director of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and is a member of the Senior Advisory committee of the Institute of Politics of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Harvard University Football Hall of Fame. Elizabeth Drew wrote a book, entitled Senator, about him and his role and responsibilities as an U.S. Senator.