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Red River Conference to Discuss Resilience: Lessons for the Mississippi?

January 3, 2011Patrick NunnallyRiversComments Off on Red River Conference to Discuss Resilience: Lessons for the Mississippi?

It has become as regular as birds returning in the spring:  disastrous floods along the Red River as melting snow pushes over the banks and floods spread across the flat lands of the watershed.

A conference later this month hosted by the Red River Basin Commission looks like it is taking up some very timely and far-sighted topics, considering the interactions of land use and water quality/quantity, structural and non-structural approaches to floodplain mitigation, and the whole complex topic of resilience in land, communities, and rivers.

(Full disclosure:  Thomas Fisher, who will be delivering the keynote talk on “Designing Resilient Communities” is Dean of the College of Design here at the University of Minnesota and, thus, technically my boss for part of my job.  I still think resilience is an important topic, though!)

Information on this conference and the link came to us indirectly through the web site of Minnesota Waters, a statewide nonprofit working to protect the state’s rivers and lakes.

As I read the conference material on the Red River, I thought, “We probably need to have a similar discussion on the Mississippi, at least on some stretches of the River.”

What do you think?  Is it time to convene these discussions on land, water and community along the Mississippi, before we have multiple disasters?  Who should speak?  Who should attend?

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