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Critical Low Water Levels on Mississippi and Missouri Rivers

Your Help Is Needed: Submit a Letter to Elected Officials

As you may know, the low water levels on the Mississippi River have become critical this year because of the drought. Navigation on a critical 200-mile stretch of the Mississippi River will be severely impaired – and barge transportation may cease altogether – by mid-December unless the administration takes emergency action to ensure statutorily authorized nine-foot draft to maintain commercial navigation. 

We are asking for your help to contact your U.S. Senators and Congressmen; we are asking them to encourage President Obama to use his authority to declare an emergency situation relative to low water levels on the Mississippi River, particularly the area between St. Louis, MO and Cairo, IL. Agriculture and other industries that rely on navigation on the Mississippi River to deliver cargo – including fertilizer, grain, coal and petroleum – are asking the Obama Administration to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do two things:

  1. Release measured, but sufficient, flows from the Missouri River Reservoir dams to maintain a nine-foot navigation channel on the Mississippi River.
  2. Waive federal rules to expedite the removal of rock pinnacles near Grand Tower and Thebes, IL. These rock formations also threaten navigation in the current low water situation.

More than 60 House and 10 Senate members have sent letters to the Corps and to President Obama urging immediate action to release water from Missouri River reservoirs and demolish rock hazards to navigation. Additionally, the Waterways Council initiated a letter to the White House signed by 16 national trade associations. The Agricultural Transportation Working Group also sent a letter to the White House.

The industry needs your help, and time is critical. Please use this link to send a personal letter, via email, to the President and to your Congressional delegation. Be sure to edit the letter with your company name, city and state. We strongly encourage you to ask your employees to take this action as well. Sending a letter is easy, all you will need to do is fill in your name, address and email address, and then follow the instructions to send the letter.