WASHINGTON, D.C. — Visionary legislation from Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) will restore and strengthen the resilience of the Mississippi River from its headwaters to the Gulf for people and wildlife alike. The Mississippi River is one of America’s most important ecological and economic engines, supporting more than 870 species of fish and wildlife, providing drinking water to more than 20 million people, and generating many hundreds of billions of dollars a year in natural resource-based and transportation revenues. But assaults on its health have resulted in more flooding, less wildlife, fewer jobs, reduced recreational opportunities, and higher costs for keeping communities safe and ensuring they have clean drinking water. The bill, the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative, will create a collaborative effort to restore this iconic river and protect river communities and is also co-sponsored by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
“America’s Great River, the Mighty Mississippi, is one of the most important waterways economically and ecologically in the world, yet it has never received a fraction of the restoration investment that it so direly needs—that is, until today. Thanks to Representative McCollum’s visionary legislation, the innovative tools, strategic investments, collaborative partnerships, and sustained focus are finally in reach to ensure that the communities and wildlife that depend upon that the Mississippi can thrive,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We urge Congress to swiftly take up Representative McCollum’s fantastic proposal to drive comprehensive restoration and resilience efforts and equitable outcomes for Mississippi river communities and people to ensure that Ol’ Man River remains inextricably woven into our history for generations to come.”
The Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative is based on highly successful bipartisan regional initiatives to restore the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound.
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