State lawmakers and mayors convened to discuss sustainable solutions to regional challenges.
SAINT PAUL, Minn.–– Senator John Hoffman (DFL- Champlin) and legislators from six other Mississippi River states convened for the third annual gathering of the Mississippi River Legislative Caucus on September 17-19 in Memphis. The legislators discussed recent flooding, opportunities to reduce nutrient loss, and how to build coalitions to improve river health and local economies.
“This past March, Minnesota witnessed extreme floods affecting several communities along the Mississippi River– closing roads, flooding basements and backing up many sewer systems,” said Senator Hoffman. “This creates a forum for us state legislators to collaborate on policy solutions along with the Mississippi Mayors initiative around river health and sustainable infrastructure development– ultimately, finding ways to protect our communities in the Mississippi River region.”
The Mississippi River is a key economic driver not only in the Midwest, Senate District 36 cities of Brooklyn Park, Champlin and Coon Rapids, as they have a unique relationship sharing the Mississippi River, but across the country, transporting roughly over 500 million tons of shipped goods per year. The recent flooding events mark the longest-lasting flood since 1927 and the River Basin has taken on more runoff in three months than it typically gets in a year.
The Mississippi River Legislative Caucus event highlighted opportunities for increasing flood resilience, including natural solutions such as wetlands; information on federal programs like the Farm Bill; strategies for improving soil health; and other solutions for river issues. Legislators in the MRLC will reconvene again next September here in Minnesota.