ST. LOUIS – On June 21, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton joined legislators from Missouri for a discussion on flood resilience, natural solutions, and federal opportunities to address flooding. Mississippi River Legislative Caucus (MRLC) staff organized the meeting which brought together state legislators and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources.
“As we recently saw, flooding is the most common and damaging natural disaster we experience in Illinois and in our communities that border the Mississippi River,” said Bristow. “That’s why I believe it is critical that legislators who serve districts bordering the river have regular conversations with agencies that are experts about the river and flood relief about ways to prevent flooding in the future and that we are prepared should we face it again.”
Meeting together to share ideas and learn more on natural infrastructure and flood resilience comes at a crucial time. As St. Louis and areas all along the river continue to experience historic flooding, state legislators understand the need to increase the resilience of areas along the Mississippi River. Following the meeting, legislators came away looking forward to working closely together with multiple levels of government to increase resilience to future flooding. Additionally, attendees agreed on the need to determine new funding sources for riverfront parkland as a method of flood resilience. Bristow and the other legislators in attendance are a part of the Mississippi River Legislative Caucus. The MRLC was established to better coordinate state legislators in the states bordering the Mississippi River around river health and sustainable infrastructure development.
“The Mississippi and the Metro East have seen several historic floods in the past three decades. I want to again thank all of our first responders, law enforcement and local officials for their work in protecting our communities and residents during this flooding,” said Bristow. “We need to continue to work together across communities and borders to prevent flooding and protect our homes, businesses and residents.”