Mayors from several Mississippi River communities joined with members of Congress Thursday to draw attention to the importance of the waterway. The goal of the so-called Mississippi River Platform is to raise awareness of such issues as water quality, community development, and drought and flood preparation. Mayor JoAnn Smiley of Clarksville (Missouri) told reporters at Washington, D.C., press conference that the quality of the Mississippi’s water is a huge issue for her town.
"Many of our residents make their living from the river, their fore fathers made their living from and on the river, our community rests right on the river, so we are sensitive to every rise and fall that occurs,” Smiley says.
The mayors say one of the priorities of their work with a bi-partisan group of members of Congress is restoration of the river’s system of locks-and-dams.