Agency Roles and Responsibilities
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
As the federal agency authorized to implement the UMRR Program, the Corps of Engineers is responsible for the management and execution of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program. The Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) has overall responsibility for the Program and has assigned many of the program management responsibilities to the Corps' Rock Island District for the regional program administration of both the habitat restoration, and research and monitoring elements.
The District coordinates with MVD and Corps’ Headquarters on policy- and budget-related matters. Regionally, the Rock Island District provides overall leadership for the UMRR Program and oversees and integrates the HREP and LTRM elements of UMRR; prepares budget submissions; recommends annual appropriations allocations within UMRR; and develops a wide range of reports.
Resources for the UMRR’s HREP element are allocated annually among the St. Paul, Rock Island, and St. Louis Districts based on the number of river miles within each District. Within their respective boundaries, the Districts are then responsible for identifying priority actions and leading the planning, design, construction, and evaluation of habitat projects within their districts.
The Rock Island District provides overall leadership responsibility and funding for the UMRR Long Term Resource Monitoring (LTRM) element. As provided for by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, the Corps of Engineers has implemented a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the Department of Interior for LTRM implementation. Under this agreement, the Corps of Engineers has overall authority and responsibility for LTRM and the US Geological Survey (USGS) provides the science leadership and daily administrationthrough its Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center. This includes program planning, coordination, and administration, as well as executing important work in the areas of research, data analysis, modeling and decision support, and data maintenance and access. The USGS has subsequently developed cooperative agreements to conduct monitoring and research at six field stations located in the five Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) states; Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Regionally, the Rock Island District provides overall leadership for the UMRR and coordinates activities within the three UMRS districts (which also include the St. Paul and St. Louis Districts); among the 5 UMRS states (Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) and the federal agency partners, the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, and other stakeholders; and with the public. The Rock Island District has the primary responsibility for coordination of several partner-based forums, such as the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Coordinating Committee (UMRR CC), UMRR Analysis Team, and the various committees recognized or established by the Project Planning and Sequencing Framework established in 2003.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Region 3 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), which encompasses the entire UMRS, coordinates the involvement of Service personnel from the refuges, ecological services field offices, and fisheries resource offices. All of these Service offices participate in the planning, design, and construction of HREPs, both on and off refuge lands. The Service is responsible for operation and maintenance of projects on lands it manages, and participates in pre- and post-project monitoring. The Corps, in compliance with the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and Endangered Species Act, consults with the Service for planning and implementation of habitat projects. Through this consultation process, the Service helps to identify potential biological responses from proposed projects. The Service and the Corps serve as the UMRR CC co-chairs.
U.S. Geological Survey
In addition to its duties outlined in the MOU between the Corps and the Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is a member of the various advisory groups established by the Corps for the administration of the UMRR. The USGS coordinates closely with the Corps of Engineers, state field stations, and interagency coordination bodies, including the UMRR CC and Analysis Team.
Resource agencies in each of the five UMRS states are actively involved in implementing HREPs in their jurisdiction and in adjacent states. These agencies participate on the St. Paul, Rock Island, and St. Louis District planning and design teams, the Analysis Team, and the UMRR CC. The states may serve as non-federal sponsors for habitat restoration projects, providing 35 percent of the total construction costs for projects, which can include lands they own. The states are responsible for 100 percent of the operation and maintenance of projects on lands that they own or manage, and are actively engaged in pre- and post-project monitoring of habitat projects. In addition, LTRM field stations, which implement the monitoring programs, are staffed and operated by state employees, with funding transferred from the Corps to the states through the USGS. State agencies also contribute in a variety of ways to LTRM’s design and execution.
Many other federal and state environmental protection, agriculture, and transportation agencies are also involved in UMRR’s implementation. These include, but are not limited to, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Agency, Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, and state water quality programs. These agencies and programs contribute their staff expertise to assist in UMRR’s habitat restoration and scientific monitoring and research efforts by providing valuable information and insights. UMRR’s coordinating mechanisms effectively allow for such transfer of knowledge and cross-programmatic collaboration, substantially enhancing overall efforts to ensure the sustainability of the multiple-use river system.