MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 20, 2004 – Citizens from Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee addressed
the Mississippi River Commission aboard the Corps’ Motor Vessel Mississippi moored at
Caruthersville, Mo., yesterday morning. The meeting was the first of several being held in
conjunction with the Commission’s annual “high-water” inspection trip on the Mississippi River.
U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District was the first
speaker of the morning. She applauded the work of the Corps and the Memphis District for their
work on the St. Johns Bayou Project. Remembering longtime project proponent Jim Robinson of
the tiny community of Pinhook, she recalled his charge to the Corps to, “… just put some mud in
that hole.” Robinson died April 9 at Sikeston, Mo.
Also present at the meeting were representatives of Missouri Sen. Kit Bond’s office and
Tennessee Representative John Tanner.
Several speakers – including David Salyers of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority
and M.V. Williams of the West Tennessee Tributaries Association – said they supported
implementation of the West Tennessee Tributaries Reformulated Project, and also asked for
support of a demonstration project on the Obion River.
Among the other speakers, several topics dominated the testimony. Among them were
calls for the Corps to help complete the Lower Mississippi River Resource Assessment Report,
criticism and support for the Missouri River Master Water Control Plan, and calls for both more
funding and less funding for environmental restoration work.
Commission member Brig. Gen. William Grisoli, commander of the Corps’ Northwestern
Division that oversees the Missouri River, took time at the end of the meeting to explain how the
Corps arrived at a final decision on the Missouri River Plan.
These meetings give Commission members an opportunity to hear the concerns, ideas and
issues important to local citizens. The meetings provide a forum for dialogue between regional
residents and the Corps regarding water resources infrastructure needs in the valley, including
flood control and the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, environmental issues, recreation
and navigation. All meetings are open to the public.