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UMRS Flood, Sediment, and Drought Management

 

 

UMRBA is co-hosting six Saturday events along the Upper Mississippi River this summer.  These gatherings will be different from many other public meetings.  The people who come to these events will set the agenda and lead the discussion.  There will not be presentations by “experts.”

Conversations will focus on reducing the risks of flooding, maintaining the navigation channel, managing river sediment, and preparing for a long term drought.  Share the impacts to you, your neighbors, and your community, and talk about how we can all work together to better address these issues.

We are hosting these events for three reasons:

>         To bring together local residents and local leaders to talk with each other about how local actions can address important river issues, such as flooding, channel maintenance, sediment management, and long term drought

>         To learn what local residents and local leaders think needs to be done to address important issues the river poses to local communities

>         To be able to incorporate local ideas and local actions into a future regional resilience plan for the river

Locations and Times for the Events

·         July 13 in Hannibal, Missouri at the Quality Inn and Suites - Link to Discussion Notes PDF

·         July 20 in Muscatine, Iowa at Merrill Hotel & Conference Center - Link to Discussion Notes PDF

·         July 27 in Dubuque, Iowa at the Grand River Center - Link to Discussion Notes PDF

·         August 3 in Winona, Minnesota at the Minnesota State College SE - Link to Discussion Notes PDF

·         August 24 in Godfrey, Illinois at the Lewis and Clark Community College

·         September 7 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri at the Southeast Missouri State University

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m.  The events will begin at 9 a.m. and end no later than 4 p.m.  Lunches will be provided at no cost.

UMRBA’s Commitment

We are committed to providing a fair and objective forum for affected people and businesses to learn from one another and seek opportunities to collaborate on solutions rather than remain in conflict. 

Sometimes discussions can be contentious and implementing solutions will be challenging.  River issues are personal and involve peoples’ families, homes, and livelihoods as well as habitat for fish and wildlife. 

We have found that many floodplain communities relate to one another through their mutual experiences living and working alongside the dynamic river-floodplain. 

 Background: The Need for a UMRS Regional Resilience Plan

The Upper Mississippi, with its large geographic scale and global significance, supports tremendous economic and ecological activity and productivity but also faces extraordinary challenges.  Nearly every year, we are witnessing the Upper Mississippi watershed send an excessive volume of water and sediment through the Upper Mississippi floodplain at a high velocity.  Solutions are achievable but reside in our ability to work together and make decisions for today and the future. 

UMRBA is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve management of floods, sedimentation, and extended drought.  Together, UMRBA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will engage communities, river-reliant industries, and other organizations within the floodplain community to create a commonly-held vision with goals, objectives, and an implementation strategy for ensuring that the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers are thriving and resilient.  This work builds from a 2017 Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers Flood Risk and Sediment Management Summit.  A summary of the Summit outcomes is available at http://umrba.org/2017flood-sediment-summit.pdf.

The first step will involve listening and learning from waterways industry, local communities throughout the floodplain and watershed, agricultural producers, and conservation organizations. 

Problem Solving Teams

UMRBA will facilitate small working groups to identify and explore solutions for which federal, state, local, and private partners can take action with the information at-hand.  The issue groups will be co-led by a representative from one of the five states a representative from one of the three UMRS Corps Districts.

Scoping a Long Term, System-Wide Management Plan

UMRBA and the Corps will consult with a representative group of affected interests to scope a system-wide plan for improving flood, sediment, and drought management.  UMRBA is seeking a formal partnership with the Corps to implement this plan through its Section 729 authority.