State Legislators From Across the Mississippi River Basin Convene for Mississippi River Legislative Caucus Meeting
September 20, 2018
From September 18-20, 22 state legislators from 6 states along the Mississippi River corridor for the 2nd annual meeting of the Mississippi River Legislative Caucus (MRLC). This event was held in the Quad Cities and organized by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.
The purpose of the MRLC is to better coordinate state legislators in the states bordering the Mississippi River around river health and sustainable infrastructure development. The annual meeting provides state lawmakers the opportunity to collaborate on policy solutions on issues facing the Mississippi River.
The meeting corresponded with the annual meeting of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), a group that coordinates mayors whose jurisdiction includes the river.
Attendees included legislators from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. These legislators were able to work alongside mayors from their state on a shared vision for the river corridor.
The meeting addressed a range of issues and opportunities facing the region including infrastructure, nutrient loading reduction, natural solutions and resilience, access to clean water and the outdoors, collaboration with state agencies, and plastic pollution.
Recent surveys have shown concentrations of microplastic in the Gulf of Mexico are some of the highest reported levels in the world, largely due to plastic inputs coming from the Mississippi River. As a result, the MRLC has committed to working with mayors to reduce plastic pollution up and down the river.
“We are inspired to see the motivation and coordination of these state and local leaders as they work towards a healthier Mississippi River,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director. “The 2020 commitment the MRLC is striving for is just one example of the coordinated action this group will take in the future to protect the Mississippi River.”
Created by and for state legislators, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,000 environmentally committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.