The Mississippi River borders the western edge of the Third Congressional District for over 300 miles, playing a vital role in our economy, environment, and the quality of life we enjoy. As founder and Co-Chair of the Mississippi River Caucus, I believe it is important to take a comprehensive approach in maintaining a healthy river system. In Congress, I have advanced several measures aimed at preserving, protecting, and enhancing the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
Environmental Management Program - Since 1986, the EMP has emerged as the nation's premier large-river restoration program and as a model for interagency and interstate cooperation on natural resource management. I have led a strong bi-partisan effort urging full EMP funding, and was successful in getting $20 million for the 2007 fiscal year.
Congressman Kind inspects part of the Mississippi River with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
REPAIR Act, HR 767 - I authored the Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance, and Immediate Response Act (HR 767) to combat invasive species in our refuge system. Invasive species are the number one ecological and financial threat to our refuge system and the backlog for combating invasive species is the fastest growing portion of the Refuge System budget.
The REPAIR Act provides grants to agencies or individuals to fund projects to remove harmful nonnative species and promote native species and their habitat on lands and waters in and adjacent to National Wildlife Refuges. It also provides short-term financial support for an immediate response to harmful nonnative species that are an urgent threat to a refuge and makes grants available to states to identify invasive species, assess and prioritize needs, increase capacity at the state level, and perform long-term monitoring of projects.
On October 22, 2007, the House of RepresentativeIssue Position: The Mississippi River
s overwhelmingly passed the REPAIR Act. It is currently pending before the Senate.
Upper Mississippi River Basin Protection Act, H.R. 2381 - This bill develops a coordinated public-private approach to understanding and reducing nutrient and sediment loss in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Relying on existing federal, state and local programs, the bill establishes a water quality monitoring network and an integrated computer-modeling program. These monitoring and modeling efforts will provide the baseline data needed to make scientifically sound and cost-effective conservation decisions. This bill addresses the what, when and where (quantity, timing, and location) of sediment and nutrients from their source on the landscape to their fate in our rivers and lakes. It also contains provisions to protect the privacy of personal data collected in connection with monitoring and assessment activities.
On July 10, 2007, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 2381. It is currently pending before the Senate.