Mississippi River Restoration
MCE is proud to support House Resolution 4202, the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative Act (MRRRI). Introduced on June 26, 2021, the bill is sponsored by Minnesota Representative Betty McCullum and co-sponsored by Missouri’s own Cori Bush. The bill would provide the means to protect drinking water supplies, build resilience to flooding caused by climate change, and protect and restore wildlife habitat throughout the river corridor. It would also provide dedicated funding to communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities, mitigating some of the damage suffered by these communities from environmental degradation.
MRRRI would address many systemic problems that plague the Mississippi River.
One strength of this proposed legislation is that it is non-regulatory. This means that no new laws would be created and no fines or penalties would be imposed. The bill creates grant opportunities for states, cities, tribes and nonprofit organizations to address environmental problems head on. It backs up the concept of environmental restoration, empowers communities to propose action and provides the with the funding and resources to get it done.
The model for this bill is not without precedent — the U.S Environmental Protection Agency would coordinate the program, making sure the latest science is used to base its restoration efforts. This model for a large interstate ecological restoration project is currently being used in the Everglades Restoration Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay Project, the Puget Sound Partnership and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. It’s long overdue for one of our greatest natural resources, the Mississippi River, to have a restoration program of its own: well-funded, non-partisan, science-based, and with an eye towards the future.
Equality and justice are a strong focus of the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative. Thirty-five percent of all MRRRI funding is to be directed toward these focuses. The burden of flooding is not shared equally by all communities along the Mississippi River. Those burdens will become more difficult as we experience the results of climate change. This legislation would ensure that those burdens are mitigated proportionately, and that restoration and resiliency efforts would be prioritized to communities of color and those economically disadvantaged.
How to help:
First, a note of support to Representative McCullum and Co-sponsor Representative Cori Bush for their visionary legislation that would go a long way.
Representative Betty McCullum https://mccollum.house.gov/contact 651 – 224 – 9191
Representative Cori Bush https://bush.house.gov/contact 202 – 225 – 2406
Our friends at the Mississippi River Network have also set a sign up page for you to pledge your support at https://bit.ly/2XiKXZB. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of the MRRRI bill as it makes its way through the halls of congress and hopefully to the President’s desk. It’s an exciting future for the Mississippi River.