American Rivers statement on Title VI complaint against the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

August 31, 2021

August 25, 2021 

Contact: Olivia Dorothy, 217-390-3658 

Amy Kober, 503-708-1145 

American Rivers filed a Title VI complaint against the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA) on May 26, 2021 because we believe that UMRBA has failed to support communities of color in participating in the development of programs, projects and policies related to flooding along the Mississippi River, particularly surrounding the development of UMRBA’s ‘Keys to the River’ study.  

Black, Latino, Indigenous and Hmong communities along the Mississippi River bear the brunt of the worst flood damage, yet UMRBA is not including these communities in the development of solutions. It is essential that UMRBA reforms its approach and creates a more inclusive public participation process for flood management planning. We must put an end to discriminatory practices that fail to engage the very communities who suffer disproportionately from flooding. 

UMRBA, which represents the Governors of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, receives funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity that receives Federal funds or other Federal financial assistance. 

Black, Latino, Indigenous and Hmong communities must have a seat at the table to drive equitable, lasting solutions along the Mississippi River. American Rivers will continue to work to ensure that flood management solutions prioritize safety and well-being for all.