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The Nature Conservancy and USACE Sign Addendum to Memorandum of Understanding

Published Dec. 9, 2011
Graphic of Mississippi Watershed
The Mississippi River Basin is one of the river systems included in the Great Rivers Partnership.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - December 9, 2011. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and The Nature Conservancy have broadened their relationship with the November 15th signing of an addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2000. The agreement includes increasing collaboration across the Mississippi River Basin and other great rivers in the U.S. under the Great Rivers Partnership (GRP) and expanding recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. The agreement was signed by William Ginn, Chief Conservation Officer (The Nature Conservancy), Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Robert Pietrowsky, Director (U.S. Army Institute for Water Resources and ICIWaRM), and Michael Reuter, Executive Director (Great Rivers Partnership, The Nature Conservancy).

"The addendum further strengthens our partnership with The Nature Conservancy and maximizes the economic and social benefits our society receives from large rivers. We will continue to preserve and restore our natural resources for future generations," said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, a signatory on the addendum.

"Watershed approaches to the management of the nation's rivers helps us maintain and improve the benefits of these river systems like improved flood risk management, hydropower, navigation, recreation, and wildlife habitat," said Darcy.

Conservancy GRP Director Michael Reuter, who also signed the document, said, "This addendum represents the latest example of collaboration between the Corps and The Nature Conservancy. The agreement builds on our long history of working with the Corps - the largest manager of water resources in the world - on more than 50 projects in the U.S. and globally to ensure our great rivers work for people and nature."

Objectives of the collaboration include:

  • Advancing economically and ecologically sustainable management of the Mississippi River Basin, including but not limited to the Missouri and Ohio River Basins, and recovery of the Gulf Coast through the development and implementation of a collaborative vision and integrated river basin management strategy
  • Supporting the development of integrated river basin management on other great rivers in the United States and globally through technical exchanges and mutual sharing of best practices and experiences
  • Exchanging knowledge, data, and expertise related to advancing key water management policies and practices as part of integrated river basin management with river basin stakeholders within the United States and globally
  • Advancing our understanding of the impacts of climate change on great rivers and support development of strategies to address those impacts

The Institute for Water Resources is currently participating on other projects with the Conservancy, including its Hydrologic Engineering Center’s participation in the Sustainable Rivers Project, which focuses on modifying operations at Corps dams to enhance habitat conditions for the plants and animals that depend on downstream river flows. ICIWaRM is regularly involved in river basin technical exchanges in Latin America, including its participation and support of G-WADI LAC, the Water & Development Information for Arid Lands: A Global Network.

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