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Upper Mississippi River
Flood, Sediment, and Drought Management

 

 

2019 Upper Mississippi Flood, Drought, Sediment Management Summit

UMRBA Hosts USACE Civil Works Director James Dalton on September 30, 2019

USACE Civil Works Director James Dalton will join UMRBA in discussing their shared commitment to improving management of floods, sediment, and low water/drought affecting the navigation channel.  Together, UMRBA and USACE believe that solutions are achievable but reside in our ability to work together and make decisions for today and the future.  We are committed to providing a fair and objective forum for affected interests to learn from one another and seek opportunities to collaborate. 
Time:  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, September 30

UMRBA-USACE Kick-Off One-Year Report Development on September 30, 2019 to October 1, 2019

UMRBA and USACE will kick-off a one-year report development process with a working session to prioritize known opportunities (high leverage actions that enjoy regional consent) as well as more complex questions and issues needing further exploration or deliberation.  This session will be held through 12 noon on October 1 and will serve as a kick-off meeting for teams being formed.  The teams will include representation of the relevant constituencies, but all who attend the September 30 session are welcome to participate.
Time:  3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 30 and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, October 1

The Details:

·         RSVP using the following Google Survey: https://forms.gle/ktLGNYv2HFELC21i9

·         Summit agenda PDF

·          Location:   Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington

3900 American Blvd West

Bloomington, MN  55437

·         Sleeping room accommodations:  A block of rooms is available at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington for those who require overnight accommodations.  The rate for a single room is $129 plus tax.  You can make your reservation via the following link:  Reservations.  Or you can call the hotel at 844-856-8554 and refer to UMRBA when making your reservations.  The cut-off date is Monday, September 23.

·         Shuttle to/from airport (and nearby restaurants):  The Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington provides complimentary shuttle to/from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Mall of America, and anywhere in a 5-mile radius of the hotel, available daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.  The shuttle is based on availability and advanced reservations are needed.  Please call the hotel 952-893-9500 and make your shuttle reservations in advance.

Open Space Conversations Convened Summer 2019

Over the 2019 summer, UMRBA and USACE hosted local conversations about reducing the risks of flooding, maintaining the navigation channel, managing river sediment, and preparing for a future long term drought.  We asked participants to share how the river has impacted them and to talk with their neighbors and other community members about how we can all work together better to address these issues.  The conversation host recorded a summary of the discussion, which are provided below.

These meetings were different from many other public meetings, and overall were very well received by those who participated.  The people who came to the events set the agenda and led the discussions.  In total, six meetings were convened along the stretch of the Mississippi River from Winona, Minnesota to Cape Girardeau, Illinois.  There were very similar conversations among the six meetings but also different focuses and perspectives regarding how local communities are impacted by the river.  In common, participants acknowledged that the status quo is not acceptable, and that various constituent groups need to work together to find solutions that will be acceptable to the river's various users.

Discussion Notes

·         July 13 in Hannibal, Missouri PDF

·         July 20 in Muscatine, Iowa PDF

·         July 27 in Dubuque, Iowa PDF

·         August 3 in Winona, Minnesota PDF

·         August 24 in Godfrey, Illinois (to be posted)

·         September 7 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (to be posted)

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 USACE to improve management of floods, sedimentation, and extended drought.  Together, UMRBA and USACE 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 and a representative from one of the three UMRS USACE Districts.

Scoping a Long Term, System-Wide Management Plan

UMRBA and USACE 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 USACE to implement this plan through its Section 729 authority.