Upper Mississippi Tops Endangered-Rivers List
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
DUBUQUE, Iowa -- As Iowa and other states brace for more flooding this spring along the Upper Mississippi River, a new report highlights the continued threat facing the waterway.
Each spring, the environmental group American Rivers releases its "Endangered Rivers" report, and this year, the Upper Mississippi tops the list. The report cites the effects of climate change and inadequate floodplain management as key factors driving ongoing flooding problems for the river.
Nate Young, associate director at the Iowa Flood Center, said there needs to be a stronger commitment from policymakers to invest in strategies to mitigate the cycle of rising water levels.
"We invest a lot of money in responding to floods and not enough in trying to get out in front of it and mitigate the risk before the event happens," Young said.
There was record flooding along the Upper Mississippi in 2019. And earlier this year, government forecasters predicted major flooding for certain sections of the river. While some of the projections for this spring have been dialed back, advocates say the annual threat won't go away without comprehensive action.
Olivia Dorothy, associate director at American Rivers, said another key problem is a lack of coordination in flood-management strategy.
"The Mississippi is a federal river because it is the boundary of so many states," Dorothy said. "And so you have to have coordination between the states and with the federal government."
Dorothy said there isn't currently a shared vision between all of these jurisdictions.
The report said vulnerable communities need to have a voice in the decision-making process. And when the country recovers from the economic toll caused by the pandemic, Dorothy suggested major infrastructure upgrades could be one way to modernize flood protection along the river while putting people to work.
get more stories like this via email
This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…
Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…
The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …
The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …
Health and Wellness
Even for people who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although often …
Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …
Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …