Utilizing a strong, integrated partnership to accomplish the Upper Mississippi River Restoration vision
The Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program is truly a partnership program. This fact can be traced not only to the UMRR’s origins with the Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission, but also to the UMRR’s 1986 authorizing legislation, which directs the Corps to implement the UMRR “in consultation with” the Department of the Interior and the five basin states. The region has a rich tradition of interagency partnership that the UMRR has been fortunate to be able to build upon and nourish. Implementation of all aspects of UMRR is coordinated through a partnership that includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and numerous non-governmental organizations and private citizens. The accomplishments of UMRR would not be possible without the strong regional partnership that helps to guide and direct the program.
For the specific purpose of providing interagency coordination for UMRR, the Corps established the UMRR Coordinating Committee (UMRR CC) in 1987 to ensure the congressionally directed consultation with state and federal partners. Two interagency groups, the UMRR CC and the Analysis Team (A-Team), are key mechanisms for this consultation and facilitate implementation of the UMRR.
The UMRR CC and A-Team are consistent with the UMRR authority established under Section 1103 of the 1986 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Each member agency of the two groups participates under the auspices of its own authorities governing interagency coordination and management of the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). Participation does not restrict any individual agency's authority to issue permits, manage programs, manage lands, operate projects, or fulfill other individual agency mandates. The views expressed and actions taken by individual agency representatives and by the UMRR CC or A-Team are not binding on any agency.
The planning and prioritization of habitat projects is guided by the Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project (HREP) Planning and Sequencing Framework, through coordination with the interagency teams in each of the three Corps Districts. These teams include the River Resources Forum (St. Paul District), the River Resources Coordination Team (Rock Island District), and the River Resources Action Team (St. Louis District). Project planning on the Illinois River is also coordinated with the Illinois River Coordinating Council. These interagency district-based teams also provide critical links to other river management activities.
UMRR (EMP) authorizing legislation designates the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA) as the “caretaker” of the Master Plan. As such, major UMRR policy and budgetary issues are often addressed in this forum; and the Association has a longstanding commitment to the program’s successful implementation.
The public participates in the UMRR through the involvement of local governments; sport, conservation, and industry non-governmental organizations; and individual participation. The public was very engaged in the original UMRR authorization and has continued to influence the program by providing input and monitoring the implementation of both the Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project (HREP) and Long Term Resource Monitoring (LTRM) elements. Public involvement ranges from providing comments on specific project proposals to engaging in more regional, program-level matters coming before the UMRR CC.
The UMRR CC and all other UMRR-related meetings are open to the public.