Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative #2

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Apr 29, 2015 No Comments ›› admin


The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) engages the mayors along the Mississippi River, to provide an influential voice for the waterway, dramatically increasing demand for effective river protection, restoration, and management in Washington, DC. It addresses matters of mutual concern, including: river water quality and habitat restoration, flooding and floodplain issues, river-focused recreation, sustainable economies, and celebration of the River culture and history.

Current Activities:

Recent Activities

  • 2014 MRCTI Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, September 16-18, where Mayors released the Sustainable Development Fund for the River and completed an agreement between world trade centers and community foundations in the corridor;
  • America’s Watershed Initiative Bi-Annual Summit, Louisville, KY Oct 1-2, where MRCTI advised on the creation of a River report card;
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors Port meeting, Little Rock, AR, Oct 9
  • River Action Annual Conference, Moline, IL, Oct 15-17
  • U.S. EPA Gulf Hypoxia Task Force Regional Meeting, Alton, IL, Oct 20-22, where Mayors advised the Task Force on concrete steps to reduce nutrient loading in the River;
  • Mississippi Valley Flood Control Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, Dec 4-6
  • UMRBA, IRPT Mid-west Freight Coalition Meeting, Dubuque, IA, Feb 24-25
  • State Department of Transportation Meeting on intermodal inland waterway freight movement, St. Louis, March 5-6, where the departments of transportation for nine states met to advise the Mayors on inter-state coordination around  moving containers on the Mississippi River;
  • 2015 MRCTI Capitol Meeting, Washington, DC, March 17-19, where Mayors announced their intentions to assemble a delegation to represent the Mississippi River at the United Nations Climate meeting in Paris this December;
  • Opportunities in Local/Regional Food Conference, Alton, IL, March 24
  • RPT, Ingram Barge River Freight Press Conference, Granit City, IL April 9, where Ingram successfully completed a test-run of containers on bard from Kentucky to Missouri.

Upcoming Activities

  • St. Louis River industry Luncheon, St. Louis, MO, April 28
  • National Adaptation Forum, St. Louis, MO, May 11-14
  • U.S. EPA Gulf Hypoxia Task Force Spring Mtg, Columbus, OH, May 20
  • ecoAmerica Climate Summit, Washington, DC, May 21
  • MRCTI Executive Committee 2nd quarter Conference Call, May 21
  • Lower MR Conservation Comm  Mtg, Memphis, TN, June 9-10
  • MRCTI Executive Committee 3rd quarter Conference Call, July 28
  • Intl Society for River Science Meeting, La Crosse, WI, August 23-28
  • 2015 MRCTI Annual Meeting, Dubuque, IA, Sept 15-19
  • United Nations Sustainability Summit, New York, Sept 25-27
  • Mississippi River Network Annual Mtg, New Orleans, LA, Oct 27-29
  • U.S. Green Building Council Annual Mtg, Washington, DC, Nov 18-20
  • UN COP 21, Framework on Climate Mtg, Paris, France, Dec 1-18

Accomplishments and Impacts

  • Helped establish the first bi-cameral Mississippi River Caucus in the U.S. House and Senate to carry policy proposals through Congress that will aid the River’s economy and ecology;
  • Executed the first Memorandum of Common Purpose between the U.S. Army Corps of   Engineers and a coalition of mayors along the Mississippi River to act as a platform upon which sustainable practice agreements could be constructed with the Corps;
  • Reestablished the historic link between  conservation compliance and crop insurance premium subsidies to incentivize conservation technique implementation on private land;
  • Secured directive language in the Farm Bill Managers Report requiring that local governments be an integral part of national drought policy construction;
  • Secured stakeholder commitment to pursue container shipping on the Mississippi to reduce the carbon footprint and traffic congesting effects of freight movement in and out of cities plus add to the sustainable economic opportunities of the River Valley;
  • Establishment of a Sustainable Development Fund for Cities to provide first-mile and last-mile funding to cities engaging in waterfront development projects that augment ecological services;
    $200 million in President’s FY 2016 Budget for Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants;
  • Preserved Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF) above $2 billion
    Signed and executed agreement between 18 community foundations and seven world trade centers along the
  • Mississippi River through which the world trade centers can give financial and technical assistance to the foundations toward completing water-centric sustainable development projects that have the Mississippi River as the project focus.



Through missions-of-action, MRCTI augments the capitol and capacity of its members mayors to create positive change for the River by:

  • Hosting two meetings per year – one in the region every September and one in Washington, DC every March. These meetings place mayors in close working sessions with law-makers and senior government officials at the state and federal agency level, as well as executives for trade associations, companies, and non-profit organizations;
  • Equiping mayors with action-oriented policy information designed to help them make progress on the policy priorities they set through a deliberative process within MRCTI; Strategically utilizing messaging tools such social media, workshops, teleconferences, briefings, one-on-one meetings, small group meetings, issue “white papers,” emails, letters and webinars;
  • Communicating, messaging, and responding to mayoral requests for policy analysis and translate those conversations for stakeholders throughout the nation on a variety of platforms including plenary speaking engagements, LinkedIn Groups, web-based content, and national press relations; and
  • Support Mayoral policy objectives through collaborative reports, profiles, analyses, and prospectus on the River and the myriad of issues involved. These reports are coordinated through Mayoral engagement, but captured and assembled into knowledge-based information strata with partnerships that posses appropriate expertise.

Reports and Action Documents

  • 2013 Federal Policy Platform
  • Memorandum of Common Purpose: MRCTI & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • MRCTI Resolution forming Container-on-Vessel Working Group
  • 2014 Federal Policy Platform
  • Sustainable Development Fund
  • Aligning Local Investment: Community Foundations & World Trade Centers
  • 2015 Federal Policy Platform

Partners in Our Work

Collaborating Organizations
Tennessee Valley Authority
Delta Regional Authority

Other Partners

American Water
America’s Watershed Initiative
Big River Strategic Initiative
Community Foundation River Partnership
Ingram Marine Group
Inland River Port & Terminal Association
Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee
Mississippi River Network
Mississippi River World Trade Center Alliance
National Great Rivers Research & Education Center
Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy to the U.S.
Upper Mississippi River Basin Association
U.S. Water Alliance
Viking River Cruises

Funders of Our Work

Walton Family Foundation
The McKnight Foundation
Delta Regional Authority
City of New Orleans, LA