The Mississippi River Commission will conduct its annual low-water inspection trip in the Missouri Basin starting in North Dakota traveling the basin to the confluence with the Mississippi then on the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers August 12-24, 2012.
Five 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 residents and hear their concerns, ideas and issues. The meeting places, dates and times are as follows:
· August 17 9:00 a.m. Alton, Ill., at Mel Price Lock & Dam
· August 20 9:00 a.m. Caruthersville, Mo., at City Front
· August 21 9:00 a.m. Memphis, Tenn., at Mud Island River Park
· August 22 9:00 a.m. Lake Village, Ark., at the Boat Ramp*
· August 24 9:00 a.m. Houma, La., at Enterprise Marine Services
All meetings are open to the public. Local interests are 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 and navigation.
The agenda for each public meeting will be as follows:
1. Summary report by president of the commission on national and regional issues affecting the programs and projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
2. District commander's overview for the commission on current project issues in the respective district area.
3. Presentations to the commission by local organizations and members of the public giving views or comments on any issue affecting the programs or projects of the commission and the Corps of Engineers.
The MRC, established in 1879, is composed of seven members, each nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed 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 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.
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 of the commission.
Since 1879, the seven-member Presidentially appointed Mississippi River Commission has developed and matured plans for the general improvement of the Mississippi River from the Head of Passes to the Headwaters. The Mississippi River Commission brings critical engineering representation to the drainage basin, which impacts 41% of the United States and includes 1.25 million square miles, more than 250 tributaries, 31 states and two Canadian provinces.
* The boat landing is located next to the Farmers Grain located at 295 Immigrant Road, Lake Village, Ark.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The locations of the August 22 public meeting has changed from Greenville, Miss., to Lake Village, Ark.