Mississippi River Commission Begins "High Water" Inspections

April 19, 2004--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CDT

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO--The Mississippi River Commission is composed of seven members nominated by the President, and then confirmed by the Senate.

The commission's duties include recommendations for work programs and reporting necessary modifications to ensure community safety.

Another very important topic on the agenda is how to maintain economic vitality along the Mississippi River.

"So many of our commodities in our agricultural economy go up and down the Mississippi River.  They go out to the port of New Orleans and then out to the world markets,"said Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson.

The commission makes semi-annual trips along the Mississippi River.

The groups primary purpose is to listen to the public and to take into consideration their comments and concerns.

General Don T. Riley said, "during the day we travel with our partners and with any other people who want to join us, and essentially listen to them all day long about their needs and their requirements.

The commission conducts inspections of the Mississippi River twice a year.  Once during high water season in the Spring, and once during low water season in the Summer or Fall.

The biggest obstacle facing the commission right now is budgeting the money so new projects along the Mississippi River can begin.....while maintaining funding for current projects that save lives and protect people's livelihood in events like flooding.