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Middle Mississippi River Partnership takes shape
Midwest Region, June 25, 2003
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In July, 2002, approximately 35 individuals met in Carbondale, Ill., to form the Middle Mississippi River Partnership (MMRP), a collection of state, federal and non-governmental organizations focused on enhancing the natural resources of the Middle Mississippi River corridor. In order to facilitate organizational planning and the sharing of ideas among the partnership members, an annual meeting was recently held in conjunction with an information-based workshop that showcased the issues of the region.

The Middle Mississippi River Workshop took place on June 24-25 on the Southern Illinois University campus and was attended by over 75 individuals representing 14 federal, state and non-governmental organizations. After a day of presentations on the Middle River, the members of the MMRP met in order to develop goals and an organizational structure for the group.

The four main goals of the MMRP are: Coordinated management of public lands; promotion of private land conservation; education and outreach; and natural resource based economic development. Committees are being formed to address each of these main goals, and Middle Mississippi River NWR manager John Magera was chosen as the first MMRP coordinator.

This group expects to take on a healthy array of issues, including expansion of the Shawnee National Forest and Middle Mississippi River NWR boundaries within the middle river floodplain, creation of a Wetland Reserve Program special designation area in four Southwest Illinois counties, promotion of environmentally sound economic uses of the floodplain including the development of additional public recreational opportunities, and the promotion of research and environmental awareness needs for the region.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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