U.S. Rep. Ron Kind unveiled a blueprint last week for protecting the Mississippi River, the second such plan he’s announced in the past nine months.
The plan, created in collaboration with Kind’s River Advisory Board, focuses on restoring the aging lock and dam system while protecting and restoring the river ecosystem.
“The Mississippi River shapes Wisconsin’s environment and local economy,” the La Crosse Democrat said in a July 2 statement accompanying the four-point plan. “We need to take proactive steps to support the river and the jobs and quality of life it brings our river towns.”
Kind cited a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service analysis that found the Upper Mississippi River has a $580 billion annual economic impact.
Funding for infrastructure and conservation measures is included in several bills making their way through Congress.
Kind released a similar plan in October. Spokesman Aaron White said the new plan is timely because people are out on the river during the summer and Congress is hashing out details of a new five-year farm bill.