Economic Profile of the Upper Mississippi River

November 16, 2016

Upper Mississippi River: A Vital Resource for Regional Economic Prosperity

The economic prosperity and quality of life within the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) region depend upon the river’s continuing viability as a rich and diverse ecosystem, a commercial transportation system, a source of water supply, and a recreational resource. The preliminary results of an UMR Economic Profile illustrate the river system directly supports nine key economic sectors. The nine economic sectors are interrelated in a variety of ways, and the overall health of the regional and national economy depends on each sector thriving. In addition, a healthy river ecosystem allows each of these sectors to thrive. The region’s history of interagency partnership, sustainability practices, and multi-purpose use has proven beneficial and is critical to sustaining and enhancing the river’s many economic, ecosystem, and social values well into the future.

The UMR Economic Report is developed in collaboration by:

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Economics, which provides analytical support to the Service’s programs nation-wide
  • The Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, which is a regional interstate organization formed by the Governors of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin to coordinate the states’ river-related programs and policies and work with federal agencies that have river responsibilities
  • The Nature Conservancy, which works in more than 35 countries and all 50 U.S. states, and has conserved over 120 million acres with the help of 1 million members and donors; the UMR is a focus area for TNC
  • The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, which works on behalf of the river mayors from the Headwaters to the Gulf supporting water quality, sustainable development, and river economy and environmental protection