Mississippi River Commission schedules high-water inspection tripWritten by Heather Ervin
The Mississippi River Commission will conduct its annual high-water inspection trip on the Mississippi River, April 4 – 8.
Four public meetings are scheduled aboard the M/V Mississippi in selected towns along the river. Commission members will meet with local partners, stakeholders and residents and hear their concerns, ideas and issues. The meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:
• April 4: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Caruthersville, Mo. (City Front)
• April 5: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Memphis, Tenn. (Beale Street Landing)
• April 6: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Greenville, Miss. (City Front)
• April 8: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Baton Rouge, La. (City Front)
All meetings are open to the public. Interested parties are invited to present their views on matters affecting the water resources infrastructure needs in the valley, including flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, and other water resources challenges. The agenda for each public meeting is as follows:
1. The president of the commission provides a summary report on national and regional issues affecting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and commission programs and projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
2. District commander provides an overview for the commission on current project issues in the respective area.
3. Local organizations and members of the public provide comments on issues affecting the commission and the Corps of Engineers programs and projects. The Mississippi River Commission, established in 1879, is composed of seven members, each nominated by the President of the United States and vetted by the Senate.
Three of the organization’s members are officers of the Corps of Engineers; one member is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and three members are civilians, two of whom are civil engineers. General duties of the commission include recommending policy and work programs, studying and reporting on the necessity for modifications or additions to the flood control and navigation project and conducting semiannual inspection trips.
The authority of the commission extends the entire length of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to Head of Passes, La., where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
The public hearing process is unique to the Mississippi River Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The purpose of the public meetings is to maintain a dialogue between watershed interests, the public and the Corps. Presentations by the public are made orally, and a copy of the remarks is presented to the commission for official record and written response.
The benefits of hearing the issues and concerns first hand through the public hearing process are invaluable to the commission and the Corps. Also, the interaction with congressional, federal and state interests, local boards and non-government organizations and the public is crucial to the decision-making process for the nation’s water resources.
The Mississippi River Commission brings critical engineering representation to the drainage basin, which impacts 41% of the United States and includes 1.25 million square miles, over 250 tributaries, 31 states and two Canadian provinces.