Mississippi River Basin Program


The Mississippi River Basin Program strengthens the policy foundation on which effective water resource protection and restoration occurs by engaging key stakeholders on multiple social, political and geographic scales in ongoing, informed dialogue regarding River Basin water resource issues. These initiatives include:

  • Facilitating key communications between regional stakeholders, Congressional members, and governmental agencies
  • Developing a group of well-versed and highly-networked advocates who are informed and actively engaged in issues of wetland protection and restoration, floodplain connectivity and development, and Mississippi River water quality
  • Providing trusted, nonpartisan policy research, analysis, science, and news relating to the Mississippi River Basin’s built and natural systems, and their nexus with Washington, DC policy
  • Distributing pertinent information to regional interests through channels of networking, communications, and weekly updates, including the “Mississippi River Basin News”

Recent Events:

December 2016 – Meeting of the Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force

December 6, 2016 – New Orleans Louisiana

June 22, 2016 – Congressional Briefing on Efforts to Control Asian Carp in the Mississippi River Basin


Launched in 1995, the Program has a vision for a revitalized, healthy river system that lies at the very center of a community and economic renaissance where all activities occur in such a fashion as to protect and restore the environmental richness and enhance the quality of life of all who live and work within the River Basin.

The Mississippi River Basin Program enhances, enriches and augments the work of its key Mississippi River Basin partners, including the Mississippi River Collaborative, Mississippi River Network, and relevant Congressional coalitions, caucuses and task forces.

Partners and Collaborations:

The Institute collaborates with Mississippi River Basin partners who are involved in a long-term process of affecting environmental policy change. By providing a trusted voice in the research and policy arena, the MRBP provides its partners with the information they need to fulfill their missions. Likewise, the MRBP often looks to our partners within the basin to shine a light on the most critical issues affecting the Mississippi. Partners and key regional organizations of the Mississippi River Basin Program include:

  • Mississippi River Collaborative
  • Mississippi River Network
  • Upper Mississippi River Basin Association
  • Floodplain Science Network
  • National Great Rivers Research and Education Center
  • America’s Watershed Initiative
  • America’s Waterway
  • Farm Bill Conservation Coalition

Other affiliated entities and agencies include:

  • Mississippi River Caucus
  • Mississippi River Valley and Tributaries Caucus
  • S. Army Corp of Engineers – Civil Works
  • S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • S. Geological Survey – National Water Quality Assessment Program
  • S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Upper Mississippi River Basin Congressional Task Force

Funders of Our Work:

The Program is primarily supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation, and strives to advance the McKnight Foundation’s three Mississippi River program priorities, related to water quality, wetland protection and restoration, and cross-boundary and interagency coordination.

The Program is also supported in part with funding provided by the Mississippi River Network.