2016 Upper Mississippi River Conference to Focus on New Report Card
“Receiving an overall grade of D+, the Mississippi watershed faces many interconnected challenges,” said Kathy Wine, Executive Director, River Action, Inc. “A working conference is a necessary step in developing a shared vision, to identify and form partnerships, and to advance solutions in the Upper Mississippi and beyond. We hope this conference will result in solid recommendations for improving each of the graded sectors of the AWI Report Card.”
Wine also said the conference will bring together a wide array of stakeholders in the Mississippi River, including elected officials, planners, educators, engineers, architects, landscape architects, economists, environmentalists, floodplain managers, and those within the transportation industry and public works.
“We want this conference to be a chance for attendees to network, learn, and collaborate in working sessions dedicated to the seven broad goals identified in the Report Card—ecosystems, economy, recreation, flood control and flood risk management, transportation, water supply, and Gulf hypoxia” said Bob Sinkler, Water Infrastructure Director, The Nature Conservancy. “Measuring seven broad goals for the watershed using factual data and pertinent information identified by experts, the Report Card indicates how well we—as river citizens—are meeting these goals. With a grade of D+, we have a lot of work to do to protect one of America’s most important resources.”
The conference will also offer the opportunity for attendees to earn continuing education credits (available credits may vary by discipline).
The Mississippi River is America’s Watershed. It encompasses all or part of 31 U.S. States and two Canadian provinces. The rivers in America’s Watershed provide drinking water for millions of people. Water flowing in these rivers is used to produce more than half of America’s goods and services, including agricultural products worth more than $50 billion annually, and much of America’s energy production, including nearly 25 percent of our nation’s hydropower. The transportation network in America’s Watershed moves millions of tons of goods safely, reliably, and efficiently, generating billions in economic benefit. And the system’s rivers and wetlands provide unique wildlife, habitat and recreational opportunities.