Mississippi River Mayors Come Together To Consider Climate Change

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A group a mayors living along the Mississippi River has plans to collaborate with international leaders, with an eye toward playing a bigger role in global talks surrounding climate change.

Mayors with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative will be working more closely with the Netherlands, learning what actions have been taken to protect the Rhine River from climate change.

The group is also initiating discussions with people living along the Amazon, Euphrates, Yellow, Paraná, Danube, Volga, and Ganges rivers.

MRCTI director Colin Wellenkamp said the Mississippi River Valley is the most agriculturally productive zone on the planet and working with those other major food-producing regions is a necessity.

“This is not going to be not just about flooding and water management, it’s going to be about the future of our food supply,” Wellenkamp said. “Climate disruption is a major component of that and so far, that part of the conversation really hasn’t been emphasized.”

Mayors from La Crosse, Onalaska, Prairie du Chien, and Prescott are involved in the initiative, which will send a delegation of mayors to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as COP21, later this year.

The MRCTI also recently praised sections of the president’s proposed budget for offering more funding for flooding and disasters.

President Obama proposed funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant program at $200 million, which is a record high.

In La Crosse, this program has been used to flood-proof and remove homes built in the city’s floodplain.

Mayor Tim Kabat and fellow members of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative met with members of Congress this week, encouraging them to maintain the funding. Kabat said the grants can save money in the long run.

“You do the investment and the project in the front end and prevent a lot of the emergency situations on the back end,” Kabat said.

Kabat said, in the future, these grants could be used to restore the city’s marsh.

The mayors also hope to see funding go up for National Flood Insurance Program Risk Mapping.

By Maureen McCollum, March 20, 2015

About Mike Neuman

Identical twin; Long-time advocate of protection of our environment; Married; Father to three sons; Grandfather to one granddaughter; Born and raised in Wisconsin; Graduate of University of Wisconsin; post graduate degrees in agricultural economics and Water Resources Management fro UWMadison; Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work for 31 years with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Retired from DNR in 2007; Biked to school crossing guard site 2 X daily for 7 years retiring in 2019; in addition to being an advocate of safeguarding our environment, I am also an advocate for humane treatment of animal, children, and people in need of financial resource for humane living. I am presently a Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin. I oppose all long (>500 miles) distance travel (via fossil fuel burning) for nonessential purposes and all ownership of more than one home. I am opposed to militarism in any form particularly for the purpose of monetary gain. I am a Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; especially against those in authority who are not acting for the public good?in a timely fashion and in all countries of the world not just the U S.. My identical twin, Pat, died in June 2009. He was fired from his job with the National Weather Service despite having a long and successful career as a flood forecaster with the Kansas City National Weather Service. He took a new position in the Midwest Regional Office in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Pat’s work for the NWS went sour after he began to see the evidence for concern about rising global temperatures shortly after relocating to Minneapolis, and how they appeared to effect of flooding on the Red River that flows out of Canada before entering the U.S. in North Dakota. . Pat and I conversed on a regular basis with other scientists on the Yahoo Group named “Climate Concern “ and by personal email. The NWS denied his recommendation to give his public presentation o n his research at the “Minneapolis Mall of America” in February 2000, which deeply affected h,im. I will h He strongly believed the information ought be shared with the public to which I concurred. That was the beginning of the vendetta against my brother, Patrick J. Neuman, for speaking strongly of the obligations the federal government was responsible for accurately informing the citizenry. A way great similar response to my raising the issue of too many greenhouse gases being emitted by drivers of vehicles on Wisconsin highway system, my immediate supervisors directed: “that neither global warming, climate change nor the long term impacts upon the natural resources of Wisconsin from expansion of the state highway system were to be any part of my job requirements, and that I must not communicate, nor in a memorandum to all the bureau, shall any person who works in the same bureau I do communicate with me, neither verbally on the phone, by email.

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