GRAVES HOLDS MISSOURI RIVER ROUNDTABLE
Kansas City, MO – Yesterday, Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) held a roundtable with stakeholders to discuss their needs and concerns. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) will be considered in the House of Representatives later this year and much of the discussion centered on priorities for the bill both in general and in light of the recent court decision regarding Corps of Engineers’ management practices on the river.
“The Missouri River plays a role in almost everything we do in Missouri,” said Graves. “How it is managed and what is prioritized makes a world of a difference in what happens to our farmers, landowners, and commercial traffic on the river. Every two years we take up a water resources bill and it’s a chance to make necessary changes to anything concerning the river. There were a variety of issues that were raised by stakeholders and I certainly think we need to look at how we address those this year.”
In addition to Corps’ management practices, topics of discussion also included prioritizing flood control, ongoing problems with 408 permits, and reduction of federal involvement in habitat programs.
HERE IS WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:
Mark Coulter, Vice President/General Counsel for PortKC: “We were very grateful to Congressman Graves for calling together today’s meeting. There are a broad number of interests that depend on the river, and today was a perfect example of those groups coming together. Having dialogues like this with our congressional representatives gives us the chance to have our voices heard, and arms them with relevant, real-time information for them to take back to Washington..”
Lucy Fletcher, Business Development Manager for AGRIServices of Brunswick: “It’s important to make sure that we use the river to its fullest potential. We’ve gone from eight barges eight years ago to 225 this year. We really need to make sure we can handle the increased demand. The management of the river plays a huge role in navigation. Proper management of our river and navigation system affects everyone, more than they can imagine.”
Tom Waters, Chairman of Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association: “Members of the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association attended Congressman Graves’ Roundtable discussion regarding the Missouri River. We appreciate the Congressman taking time meet to listen to the concerns of those who live and work along the Missouri River. The Congressman listened and addressed the concern of our members. It is always good when the Congressman takes time to gather the comments and concerns of those he represents. Congressman Graces has always been a supporter of those impacted by the decisions of those who manage then Missouri River. The Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association appreciates the opportunity to participate in these important discussion.”
Shane Kinne, board member for Coalition to Protect the Missouri River and Director of Policy for the Missouri Corn Growers Association: “We appreciate being a part of today’s thoughtful discussion on the future of Missouri River management. Given the river's importance to agriculture, our state, and region, we want to make sure that flood control and navigation are top priorities for the Corps of Engineers, and we look forward to working with Congressman Graves as to the best path forward to accomplish this mission.”
Those in attendance were the officials from the Coalition to Protect the Missouri River, Agriservices of Brunswick, Missouri River Levee and Drainage Districts, Missouri Farm Bureau and PortKC.