Mississippi River Mayors Form Partnership with Army Corps of Engineers

The Mississippi River Network is a coalition of 42 organizations dedicated to protecting the land, water and people of the Mississippi River basin and is managed by Biodiversity Project, a leader in building creative public communications campaigns to protect North America's most precious land and water resources since 1995.

Mayors representing cities and towns from all ten states that touch the Mississippi River met in St. Cloud, MN to discuss River issues for three days from June 26-28. The mayors established common ground with the Army Corps of Engineers and have signed a landmark Memorandum of Common Purpose agreement that outlines how the two groups will partner for the good of the Mississippi River.

Greenway Network applauds the Confluence Region mayors who have taken the lead on the Mississippi Rivers Cities and Towns initiative and who have become River Citizens.

Below is a press release regarding this important event.

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From the Mississippi River Network

August 27, 2013

When Protecting the Mississippi River, Partnerships Prevail
St. Could, MN — Mayors representing cities and towns from all ten states that touch the Mississippi River met in St. Cloud to discuss River issues for three days from June 26-28. The mayors established common ground with the Army Corps of Engineers and have signed a landmark Memorandum of Common Purpose agreement that outlines how the two groups will partner for the good of the Mississippi River.

“We applaud the developing partnership between the mayors and the Corps,” says Amy Sauer, Program Manager for the Mississippi River Network. “There is incredible value when all essential parties sit together at the same table to find practical solutions to the complex problems the River faces. With all invested parties working together, we expect to see real progress regarding River issues.”

Around 150 participants, including 30 mayors, are attending the Second Annual Mississippi Rivers Cities and Towns Initiative Meeting to address responsible economic growth, improving public safety through water quality and floodplain management and protecting valuable habitat along the globally significant flyway that follows the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River Network representatives attended the meeting on behalf of the nearly 50 local and national nonprofit organizations working together on River issues. Their presentation, “Partnerships for the River,” highlights how progress has been made through their extensive experience in collaboration and coalition building.

Since 2005, the Network has promoted natural solutions like wetland preservation, buffers along streams and responsible agricultural practices to address flooding and water quality issues. In addition to supporting the burgeoning partnership between the mayors and the Corps, the Network can assist the Mayors Initiative directly by providing expert scientific analysis.

“New partnerships must continue to be built until the River attains the national recognition it needs to be healthy for future generations, a goal shared by all the major players,” said Olivia Dorothy, who attended the conference on behalf of the Izaak Walton League of America, a Mississippi River Network member.

The Network and the River mayors have already been working together. The mayor of St. Louis, Francis Slay, was a key speaker at the Network’s annual meeting last year. In addition, two River mayors have already signed up with the Network as River Citizens, people who pledge to take action to protect the River. “The River is a national treasure whose legacy and health must be preserved,” said Roy Buol, mayor of Dubuque, Iowa and a River Citizen. 

“The Mississippi River has been central to the development of our country’s culture and economy, but it has never been managed as a whole system. Now, with everyone working together, the River may finally get the recognition and attention it requires,” said Sauer. 

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The Mississippi River Network is managed by Biodiversity Project and supported by the McKnight Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. Visit 1mississippi.org for more information.