Celebrate and protect a national treasure: The Mississippi River system


Fireworks over the Mississippi River as seen from Dubuque.

The Iowa Environmental Council is a proud member of the Mississippi River Network: Headwaters to Gulf, a coalition of 50 organizations throughout the ten Mississippi River states that have joined together to protect the land, water and people of the Mississippi River. Since 2009, the Network has led a major nationwide campaign to help people reconnect with the Mississippi River and build a groundswell of citizen involvement to protect the River’s environment and heritage for future generations.

To support these initiatives, the Mississippi River Network has a public website, www.1mississippi.org, participates in public events such as River festivals and conferences and collaborates on broader policy changes that can protect the River system.

Most recently, the Network took part in a ten-state meeting in St. Cloud, Minnesota, June 26-28 where mayors representing cities up and down the river reached common ground with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by signing 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, took part in the 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.

The Mississippi River Network is funded, in part, by grants from the McKnight Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, in addition to resources provided by the member organizations.

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