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Posted 7/31/2013

Release no. FY13-07-33


ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Mississippi River Commission on board the Motor Vessel (M/V) Mississippi, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ largest diesel towboat and flagship to the Commission, is inspecting Corps of Engineers’ projects along the Upper Mississippi River, August 12-16.  The visit is part of the Commission’s annual Low Water Inspection trip.

The Corps’ Rock Island District is hosting a public open house on board the MV Mississippi prior to the inspection trip.  The open house will take place Tuesday August 6, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Oneida Landing, Davenport, Ia.

The open house will provide information about the importance of the Mississippi River System and the diversity of uses and users along the waterway.  The Corps, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are providing interactive displays and exhibits geared toward educating children and adults about the work the Corps of Engineers does in and along the Mississippi River. Tours of the MV Mississippi will also be available.

The Presidentially-appointed Mississippi River Commission, established by Congress in 1879, is comprised of three Army officers, an Admiral and three civilians. The Commission’s duties include making recommendations on policy and work programs, studying and reporting on whether modifications or additions are needed for flood control and navigation projects, providing recommendations on any matters authorized by law, and making semi-annual inspection trips.

Each spring and late summer, the Commission conducts a series of public meetings aboard the vessel to maintain a dialogue, and to exchange viewpoints and ideas with stakeholders and the public.  Traditionally, during the Low Water Inspection trip, the Commission travels the length of the Mississippi River stretching from St. Paul, Minn., to New Orleans.

The M/V Mississippi spends more than 90 percent of its time as a working towboat, moving barges, equipment and supplies on the lower Mississippi River.  The M/V Mississippi, built in 1993 by Halter Marine, is the fifth Army Corps of Engineers towboat to bear the name.  It is the largest diesel towboat in the United States at 241-feet long, 58-feet wide and five stories high.  Three 2,100-hp diesel engines power the vessel.

For more information, contact Allen Marshall in the Rock Island District Corporate Communications office at (309) 794-5204.