The Conservation Federation of Missouri is engaged with a nascent national effort to create a 10-state initiative to restore the Mississippi River. While still in the very early planning and visioning stage, we anticipate that legislation to create such a program (a Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative) is likely to come forward in the next Congress. Given its bipartisan, multi-state nature, we’re optimistic such a bill could advance in both chambers with potentially significant, long-lasting impacts on river health.
A Remarkable River
- The Mississippi River provides drinking water to about 20 million Americans.
- It’s a vital natural resource — home to over 780 species of fish and wildlife and serving as a “river road” or flyway for over 60% of all North American birds.
- It’s the heart of a $500 billion-a-year natural resource and recreation-based economy employing more than 1.5 million Americans.
A River at Risk
- Flooding and extreme weather events cost billions in losses each year, harming communities and leaving them vulnerable long-term.
- Runoff nitrate is increasing, driving up costs to keep our communities safe and our drinking water clean.
- As wildlife populations and habitat shrink (or are displaced by invasive species), so do the economies or jobs and recreational opportunities that they support.
- The annual “dead zone” has terrible impacts on our gulf environment and economy, yet nitrates and sediment continue to feed it.
- Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) is calling for a federal program to restore our Mississippi River.
- Based on the highly successful Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Mississippi River Restoration & Resilience Initiative (or “MRRRI”) directs EPA to work with federal, tribal, state, and local entities to improve the health of the Mississippi’s water and ecosystems, increase its resilience to natural disasters, and more. Together, we can restore one of America’s greatest rivers and the jobs, recreation, and drinking water it provides for generations to come.
- Now is the time to invest in our Mississippi and our river communities.
Our Role and Shared Responsibility
- CFM, along with the Mississippi River Network, Friends of the Mississippi River, and National Wildlife Federation amongst many others, is playing a role in envisioning and educating people about MRRRI.
- We would welcome your support.
Watch for action items coming soon for the
Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative (MRRRI).