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R.D. James, Assistant Secretary to the Army for Civil Works and Maj. Gen. Scott  Spellmon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, stand with the Mississippi River Commission aboard the motor vessel Mississippi in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 23. 2018.
MRC Low-water Inspection 2018
R.D. James, Assistant Secretary to the Army for Civil Works and Maj. Gen. Scott Spellmon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, stand with the Mississippi River Commission aboard the motor vessel Mississippi in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 23. 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more during their annual low-water inspection trip marking the MRC's 400th session. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
James A. Reeder, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks during the annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018.
MRC Low-water Inspection 2018
James A. Reeder, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks during the annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
George Williams, with the Lake Mary Planting Company, provides testimony during the Mississippi River Commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018.
2018 Low-water Inspection and Public Hearings
George Williams, with the Lake Mary Planting Company, provides testimony during the Mississippi River Commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
Maj. Gen. Richard Kaiser, Mississippi River Commission president, provides opening remarks during the annual low-water inspection public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018.
2018 Low-water Inspection and Public Hearing
Maj. Gen. Richard Kaiser, Mississippi River Commission president, provides opening remarks during the annual low-water inspection public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
Col. Mike Derosier, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District commander, and Mississippi River Commission members, speak with partners and concerned citizens before the annual low-water inspection public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018.
2018 Low-water Inspection and Public Hearing
Col. Mike Derosier, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District commander, and Mississippi River Commission members, speak with partners and concerned citizens before the annual low-water inspection public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, R.D. James, speaks to Mississippi River Commission members and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District leaders aboard the motor vessel Mississippi upon arriving in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018, for the commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing.
2018 Low-water Inspection and Public Hearings
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, R.D. James, speaks to Mississippi River Commission members and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District leaders aboard the motor vessel Mississippi upon arriving in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018, for the commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, hear matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photos by Jared Eastman)
Brig. Gen. Paul Owen, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks during the annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018.
MRC Low-water Inspection 2018
Brig. Gen. Paul Owen, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks during the annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
Dr. Norma J. Mattei, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks with partners and the public before the annual low-water inspection public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018.
2018 Low-water Inspection and Public Hearings
Dr. Norma J. Mattei, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks with partners and the public before the annual low-water inspection public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
Rear Adm. Shepard Smith, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks during the annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018.
MRC Low-water Inspection 2018
Rear Adm. Shepard Smith, Mississippi River Commission member, speaks during the annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 22, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, heard matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photo by Jared Eastman)
The motor vessel Mississippi docks at the Beale St. Landing during the Mississippi River Commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Memphis, Tennessee, Aug. 21, 2018.
2018 MRC Low-water Inspection and Public Hearings
The motor vessel Mississippi docks at the Beale St. Landing during the Mississippi River Commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing in Memphis, Tennessee, Aug. 21, 2018. The commission, who leads sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and well-being, hear matters affecting flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and more. (USACE photos by Vance Harris)
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James and Mississippi River Commission members stand at the Big River Still Mill in Osceola, Arkansas, Aug. 20, 2018, during the commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing trip.
2018 MRC Low-water Inspection
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James and Mississippi River Commission members stand at the Big River Still Mill in Osceola, Arkansas, Aug. 20, 2018, during the commission's annual low-water inspection and public hearing trip. The steel mill is an example of new development that depends on flood protection and a reliable navigation channel from which the Mississippi River & Tributaries project provides. Regional economy benefits as well from the 400 jobs that the mill created.(USACE photos by Vance Harris)

Mississippi River Basin mapThe Mississippi River Commission (MRC) was established by an Act of Congress on June 28, 1879. Congress charged the MRC with the mission to develop plans to improve the condition of the Mississippi River, foster navigation, promote commerce, and prevent destructive floods—perhaps the most difficult and complex engineering problem ever undertaken by the federal government up to that time.

Today the MRC, which is headquartered in Vicksburg, Miss., provides water resources engineering direction and policy advice to the Administration, Congress and the Army in a drainage basin that covers 41 percent of the United States and parts of two Canadian provinces by overseeing the planning and reporting on the improvements on the Mississippi River. The intent behind the mission of the MRC today is the same as the mission placed on the commission upon its creation—to lead sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and the people’s well-being.

In its current capacity, the Mississippi River Commission is charged with prosecuting the comprehensive river management program known as the Mississippi River and Tributaries project.