Ohio River


A barge that teaches students about river ecosystems is beginning its fall tour in Louisville this week. 

ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center / National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Kentucky state regulators are warning people to avoid recreational contact with the Ohio River from the West Virginia border, past Louisville all the way to the Cannelton Locks and Dam in Hancock County. Over the past two weeks, a harmful algal bloom has spread, releasing toxins into the water.

SIU Press

Flatboats were the most prevalent form of transportation on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers through the late 1700's and early 1800's. While the harsh, active river currents and salvaging settlers have left little to explore of these boats, the remains of one vessel have been found in the muddy banks of the Ohio. Kate Lochte welcomes SIU Carbondale Center for Archaeological Investigations Director Dr. Mark Wagner to Sounds Good to discuss his new book "The Wreck of the America in Southern Illinois: A Flatboat on the Ohio River."

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Highway 91 goes north from Marion, Kentucky to the Ohio River, where there's a small ferry crossing to Cave-In-Rock, Illinois. That limestone cave, now a feature of a small state park along the banks of the river, was said to have harbored vicious river pirates at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, including the infamous Harpe Brothers. Dr. Mark Wagner, interim director and staff archeologist of Southern Illinois Carbondale's Center for Archeological Investigations, says that historical record only places one particular pirate there and his name was Samuel Mason. Kate Lochte speaks with Dr. Wagner on Sounds Good to learn more about the fearsome figure who prowled the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.


Paducah Parks Services kicked off their summer concert series last summer. This summer they've turned it up a notch with more performances, partnering with local and nationwide musicians Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:30 downtown on the Wilson Stage on the Ohio River. Tonight features western Kentucky collective The Drunken Poets and Oklahoma native Parker Millsap, who NPR says is "an emerging voice of Americana." On Sounds Good, Chad Lampe speaks with special events coordinator Molly Tomasallo about the series.

Jim Grey / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

The Kentucky Division of Water is proposing that the lower Ohio River be removed from a list of waterways with high mercury levels.

The list warns against consuming fish from those waters.


The interstate commission that regulates pollution in the Ohio River is considering a formal change to the way certain pollutants are measured in the river.


The Kentucky Environmental Foundation has released its Health Impact Assessment for Paducah's Shawnee Fossil Fuel Plant. The report comes as the Commonwealth braces for new EPA regulations on coal plant emissions.  

West Virginia is accepting bids on a plan to allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (or “fracking”) beneath the Ohio River. The move would provide the state with much-needed revenue, but environmental and citizen groups are concerned about the possible contamination of drinking water for millions of people.

Louisville is one of the communities downriver that uses the river for drinking water.

Lane Closures on I-24 Ohio River Bridge

Sep 2, 2014
Daniel Schwen, Wikimedia Commons

Commuters between Paducah and Metropolis could encounter slower passage over the I-24 Ohio River Bridge this week. The Illinois Department of Transportation will begin work Tuesday, taking place in both eastbound and westbound lanes causing daytime lane closures extending through Friday. IDOT spokesman Keith Miley says through traffic should seek alternate routes.