Help Restore the Big Mo. River

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Help Restore the Big Mo. River

Postby feathhd » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:58 pm

With apologies for the short turnaround on this.

Please read the attached letter that will be sent to members of the Senate
Appropriations Committee.

The letter is asking for an increase in the President's Fiscal Year 2015
proposed budget for the Missouri River Recovery Program (MRRP).

The proposed 2015 MRRP budget is the lowest it has been in years, at a time when
more, not less, needs to be done for the recovery of endangered and other native
species. These species are declining due to the Army Corps of Engineers'
current operation of the river.

Please email me if your group or
organization will sign on to this letter by 5 PM CT Monday, May 5th.

The letter needs to be submitted by Wednesday, May 7th.

Thank you.

RE: 2015 Funding for the Missouri River Recovery Program

Dear Senator,

We the undersigned groups urge your support of an increase in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ budget request from $48,771,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2015 to the Corps’ capability level of $70 million for the Missouri River Recovery Program (MRRP).
The requested amount of $48,771,000 would be the smallest MRRP budget in years, at a time when more, not less, funding is needed. The MRRP is the largest restoration effort on our nation’s longest river. The Missouri River basin encompasses 530,000 square miles and covers part or all of ten states.Increased funding for the MRRP is urgently needed and warranted to recover and restore critical aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Increasing funding in the MRRP will not only recover the river but also enhance flood control, increase job creation, improve economic growth, and advance recreational opportunities for families throughout the basin.

The Corps’ capability of $70 million for the MRRP in FY 2015 reflects the nation’s priorities for investments that fund development, management, restoration, as well as needed protection of our invaluable water and related resources. An increase in MRRP funding to this level will continue successful projects such as the Schilling Wildlife Management Area and the Cooper Nuclear Power Station in Nebraska, Hamburg Bend in Iowa, and the Gunderson Backwater Project in South Dakota.These projects demonstrate that MRRP efforts can achieve the goals of restoring habitat while the river’s authorized purposes continue.

Restoration efforts have triggered huge job growth in other areas of the country. Similar economic impact can occur throughout the Missouri River Basin if the funding for the MRRP is increased and the restoration efforts move forward.

An average of $2 billion in benefits occurs annually from the Corps’ current operation of the Missouri River. The MRRP is designed to address requirements for the loss of habitat from the day to day operation for the eight authorized purposes as required in the Biological Opinion, the Water Resource Development Acts of 1986, 1999, and 2007 and the 1958 Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.
Missouri River restoration will provide long-term economic and environmental benefits and improve opportunities for more families to enjoy the Missouri River. We respectfully ask for your support for funding the full $70 million capability for the Missouri River Recovery Program in the FY 15 budget.

We also urge you to oppose any provision that restricts future funding for the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan (MRERP) and the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS).
The MRERP is needed to complete the restoration of one of America’s greatest rivers with crucial involvement of stakeholders and local government entities.

The MRAPS was started and needs to be completed so, for the first time since passage of the 1944 Flood Control Act, the people of the basin will be able to help determine the current and future needs of the Missouri River instead of what was envisioned seven decades ago.
We sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

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