Mississippi River Commission, USACE tour Missouri River

Leaders from The Mississippi River Commission, along with leaders from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, toured the Missouri River March 29 – April 1.

Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, chief of engineers and commanding general, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Brig. Gen. D. Peter Hemlinger, commander, Northwestern Division, Col. William Hannan Jr., commander, Kansas City District and Col. Mark Himes, commander, Omaha District, met with partners and stakeholders and visited sites along the river.

The purpose of the tour was to provide an opportunity for the MRC to inspect, listen and partner with neighboring USACE offices and local stakeholders with a focus on Missouri River levees and navigation.

In addition to presentations and discussions between USACE and the MRC, the group met with stakeholders along the tour route including the Holt County Commissioners, the Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association, the Port of Kansas City, and a group of navigation stakeholders.

“After meeting with the stakeholders and partners, I was pleased to hear about the relationships our district and division offices have built with them,” said Lt. Gen. Spellmon. “This collaboration enables the Corps to build a stronger and more resilient nation.”

The meetings with the Holt County Commissioners and the Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association focused on USACE efforts to restore levees after severe flooding in 2019.

“The challenges restoring federal and non-federal levees are different,” said Col. William Hannan. “This tour was a unique opportunity to discuss those differences and share ideas between the Army Corps of Engineers, our levee district partners and Mississippi River Commission leaders.”

Also, the group visited the Overton Bottoms project site, USACE’s Missouri River fish and wildlife mitigation site, along with the restoration to the breached Cooper County levees.

USACE partners with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to manage the Overton Bottoms site as a part of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

Photo: Jennie Wilson