Upper Mississippi River Economic Profile
The economic benefits from the entire main-stem of the Mississippi River, from the headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, will be available when a current project beingled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is completed this summer, according to America’s Watershed Initiative. The USFWS will release an advanced draft of an economic profile for the Upper Mississippi River System for review in June. A final profile, along with an executive summary and brochure, is expected by September.
The report will be similar to the profile the USFWS completed for the Lower Mississippi River in 2013, which is available online here. Because the UMRS economic profile will include the same categories as the LMR profile, the two reports combined will depict economic benefits derived from the entire main-stem of the Mississippi River.
At an Upper Mississippi River Basin Association meeting in February, Bryan Hopkins with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources said the economic profile for the LMR has proven very effective in raising awareness of the economic benefits of river-related activities in the region. Hopkins pointed out that the LMR profile identified approximately $150 billion of annual economic benefits derived from related economic activity, and he believes an economic profile for the upper basin would likely result in comparable findings.
The UMRS economic profile will include an analysis of the following sectors: commercial navigation; commercial harvest of natural resources; water supply; recreation; tourism and cultural resources; mineral resources; agriculture; energy production; and manufacturing. Partners assisting in the UMRS economic profileinclude the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon and the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative.