GREENVILLE — The Mississippi River Commission will conduct its annual high-water inspection trip on the Mississippi River April 7-11.
Four public meetings have been scheduled aboard the Motor Vessel Mississippi in selected towns along the river so commission members have the opportunity to meet with local partners, stakeholders and residents and hear their concerns, ideas and issues. The meeting places and dates and times are as follows (all meetings start at 9 a.m.):
• April 7 — Tiptonville, Tenn. (Riverfront Park)
• April 8 — Helena, Ark. (Helena Harbor Boat Ramp)
• April 9 — Greenville (City Front)
• April 11 — New Orleans, La. (Thalia Street Wharf, Port of New Orleans)
All meetings are open to the public. Anyone with an interest is invited to present their views and suggestions on matters affecting the water resources infrastructure needs in the valley, including flood control and the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and others.
The MRC, established in 1879, is composed of seven members, each nominated by the President of the United States and vetted by the Senate. Three of the organization’s members are officers of the Corps of Engineers; one member is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and three members are civilians, two of whom are civil engineers.
General duties of the commission include recommendation of policy and work programs, the study of and reporting upon the necessity for modifications or additions to the flood control and navigation project, recommendation upon any matters authorized by law, and making semi-annual inspection trips. The duties of the commission include the entire length of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to Head of Passes, La., where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
The purpose of the public meetings is to maintain a dialogue, an exchange of viewpoints and ideas flowing between the watershed interests, the public and the Corps. Presentations by the public are made orally, but a copy of the remarks should be presented to the commission for the official record and written response.
The public hearing process is unique to the Mississippi River Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The benefits of hearing the issues and concerns first hand through the public hearing process are invaluable to the commission and the Corps. Also, the interaction with congressional, federal and state interests, local boards and non-government organizations and the public is crucial to the decision-making process for the nation’s water resources.