(Sept. 20, 2012, Red Wing, Minn.) – Mayor Dennis Egan was selected by 20 other mayors from up and down the Mississippi River to represent the state of Minnesota on the Executive Board of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative. This mayoral-led effort is being built to bring national attention back to the Mississippi River—America’s most critical natural asset—and spearhead a new level of regional cooperation to make it more sustainable. The drought—the worst in 50 years—has severely impacted the towns, cities and people who live and make a living along the River, the ecological linchpin to the 37-state Mississippi River Basin—including Red Wing. Now, Hurricane Isaac has further threatened many river towns.
In answer to these developments and in consideration to the Mississippi’s economic importance to the Country, Mayor Dennis Egan has taken a leadership role.
Mayors on the Executive Board
Francis Slay, St. Louis, MO*
Paul Winfield, Vicksburg, MS
Bill Gluba, Davenport, IA
Roy Buol, Dubuque, IA
Jo Anne Smiley, Clarksville, MO
David Kleis, St. Cloud, MN*
A.C. Wharton, Memphis, TN
Hyram Copeland, Vidalia, LA
Dickie Kennemore, Osceola, AR
Tom Hoechst, Alton, IL
Mayors from towns and cities the main stem Mississippi River participated in the inaugural meeting of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI) September 12-14 in St. Louis, which is engaging officials from EPA, USDA, FEMA, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on critical federal activities affecting Mississippi River cities and towns as well as state officials and non-government organization stakeholders. The drought and hurricane have added a new sense of urgency to their efforts to organize.
Due to the jobs that depend on it and its support of American GDP, neglect of the Mississippi River is a recessionary practice. The Mississippi encapsulates so many issues important to the nation that, for the first time, this River has become an election issue.
Mayor Dennis Egan has decided the River means too much to this city and is taking pro-active role in protecting it for the future.