Mississippi River Commission cancels Upper Mississippi River portion of low water inspection trip but still plans to conduct Lower Mississippi River portion

Mississippi River Commission
Published July 23, 2021

VICKSBURG, Miss. – Due to the rising cases of COVID, the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) has canceled the Upper Mississippi River portion of its annual low water inspection trip on board the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI, which was scheduled for August 15-20, 2021.  The health and safety for people is a priority during this critical time in our nation.

The MRC still intends to conduct the Lower Mississippi River portion of the low water inspection trip and public hearings scheduled for August 22-27, 2021. Four public meetings have been scheduled aboard the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI in select towns along the river.  Commission members will meet with local partners, stakeholders, and residents and hear their concerns, ideas, and issues. The meeting dates, times, and locations are as follows:

  • August 23        9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.           Caruthersville, Mo. (City Front)
  • August 24        9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.           Memphis, Tenn. (Beale Street Landing)
  • August 25        9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.           Greenville, Miss. (City Front)
  • August 27        9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.           Morgan City, La. (Port Commission Dock)

Interested parties are invited to present their views on matters affecting the water resources infrastructure needs in the valley, including flood control, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, and other water resources challenges.

Due to COVID guidelines, the MRC will limit the audience in the hearing room to 50 people during the public hearings. The MRC encourages members of the public who wish to address the Commission in person to pre-register at https://www.mvd.usace.army.mil/About/Mississippi-River-Commission-MRC/ and those who do not wish to attend in person to please consider sending testimony for the public record via email to edie.whittington@usace.army.mil. The Commission will accept testimonies for the record until 5:00pm (CDT) on August 27, 2020.

Per COVID-19 workplace safety principles set forth by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, all guests wishing to board the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI will be requested to provide information about vaccination status. Those who indicate they are not fully vaccinated or decline to provide information about their vaccination status must provide proof of a negative COVID test no later than the previous three days. All visitors and Federal personnel will be required to wear masks while they are aboard the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI.

The Mississippi River Commission, 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 recommending policy and work programs, studying and reporting on the necessity for modifications or additions to the flood control and navigation project and conducting semi-annual inspection trips. The authority of the commission extends the entire length of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to Head of Passes, Louisiana, where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. 

The public hearing process is unique to the Commission and the Corps. The purpose of the public meetings is to maintain a dialogue between watershed interests, the public, and USACE. Presentations by the public are made orally, and a copy of the remarks is presented to the Commission for official record and written response.

The MRC brings critical engineering representation to the drainage basin, which impacts 41% of the United States and includes 1.25 million square miles, over 250 tributaries, 31 states, and two Canadian provinces.


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Release no. 21-061