This joint federal/state program provides state leadership for the cooperative management of the commercially navigable Mississippi River, which extends from Minneapolis to the mouth of the Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois, and also includes the St. Croix River from Stillwater to the confluence with the Mississippi and the Minnesota River from Shakopee to the confluence with the Mississippi River.
This program consists of a DNR team with representatives from Ecological Resources, Forestry, Fisheries, Wildlife, Trails and Waterways, and Waters, who work together to develop state positions on issues related to the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS), as well as technical analysis required for specific issues dealing with the river ecosystem.
Some of the activities that DNR Waters staff represents the state on include quarterly meetings with the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA), which coordinates policy development and federal lobbying activity for the five UMR states. Another quarterly partnership meeting is the Environmental Management Program Coordinating Committee (EMPCC) that provides policy advise to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in administration of the federal Environmental Management Program (EMP), which is authorized to spend $33 million per year on long-term resource monitoring and on habitat rehabilitation and enhancement on the UMRS.
The Mississippi River Resources Forum (MRRF) establishes policy on field-level management of the UMRS within the Army Corps of Engineers' St. Paul District (north of Guttenberg, Iowa), including such maters as fish and wildlife refuge management, recreation management, recreation beach maintenance, dredged material disposal and navigation system improvements. DNR Waters represents the state on the MRRF and several of its subcommittees, coordinating positions both within the DNR and among other state agencies.