Report points to problems with Mississippi River watershed

The Mississippi River near Cape Girardeau, downstream from where the Corps of Engineers will remove rock this week | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
America’s Watershed Initiative will release a report Wednesday about the Mississippi River’s infrastructure. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

A coalition that includes environmentalists, academics and business groups says the Mississippi River watershed requires major work to repair infrastructure, reduce flood risk and limit environmental damage.

The group, America’s Watershed Initiative, is scheduled to release a report Wednesday in St. Louis about the Mississippi and other major rivers that flow into it. The report aims to coordinate action and measure progress in the vast swath of the U.S surrounding the river, and it suggests there’s much work to do: The Mississippi watershed received a grade of D+ in the report.

The report gives the Mississippi low marks for its infrastructure, citing the poor condition of locks and dams, and its flood control.

The report was commissioned by a group that includes the nonprofit Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, agricultural interests, barge companies and others.

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