Natchez, Miss – Mayors from more than 20 cities along the Mississippi River have gathered this week for the fifth annual meeting of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI).
MRCTI mayors asked FEMA to improve their process for the application of disaster resources. According to Mayor Richard Lee of Port Allen, LA.
“We need to make it easier for states and cities to treat climate impacts with disaster mitigation resources as they occur – at the regional level,” Lee said.
MRCTI recommended that FEMA make updates to the program and allow for broader multi-state projects to meet climate change at the scale it is happening throughout the ten-state corridor.
MRCTI also announced that it had found an ideal collaborator who shared its priority of achieving clean water in the Mississippi River. Walmart Stores, Inc. has agreed to an alliance with MRCTI in this work.
“One of the greatest threats to our water is nutrient loading. Our cities want to make a difference in reducing the amount of nutrients flowing into our water,” said Mayor Dave Kleis of St. Cloud Minnesota. “We found that procurement requirements around the food cities purchase for city facilities, programs, and events could send a signal to the marketplace that controlling for nutrient pollution in the supply chain is important.”
MRCTI has agreed to promote nutrient reduction practices through the development of procurement directives that prioritize nutrient reduction. Further, MRCTI says they will encourage food-suppliers operating throughout the Mississippi River Basin to develop nutrient management plans pointing to Walmart’s Fertilizer Optimization Initiative as a best practice with a goal of publicly recognizing a unique supplier for each of the ten Mississippi River border-states.