Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dubuque Brings It's Mississippi River-Focused Agenda to Washington, DC

Representatives of City of Dubuque, Iowa and the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism visited Washington, DC this week for their annual trip to bring the Mississippi River city's and region's business "voice . . . to Iowa's federal legislative delegation in Washington."  The Chamber's message to federal lawmakers, as well as the strategic policy recommendations underlying that message, reflect on the city's Mississippi River heritage, and was one advocating for federal policies that assist with economic development while assuring long-term sustainability.

Each year, the Chamber develops its legislative agenda; one that typically includes a notable list of priorities focused on environmental sustainability and the importance of the region's Mississippi River-based economy.     Historically, those agendas have been supportive of local, state and federal initiatives that provide the basis for environmentally responsible development.  The 2013 Legislative Agenda (see it here as a PDF file), for example, includes the following high-profile Chamber concerns:
  • Providing adequate funding for the Clean Water Act, and the Drinking Water Act
  • Developing incentive programs and tax credits for environmentally responsible development practices
  • Assisting in the development of water transportation systems, such as a water taxis and ferry boats to promote tourism
  • Adequately funding hiking and biking trails
  • Promoting the tourism potential of the natural-resources-rich Driftless region
  • Creating a funding mechanism for the federal Superfund cleanup program
At the state level, the Chamber advocates for adequate funding for the Iowa Grayfield and Brownfield Redevelopment Program, and for the River Enhancement Community Attraction Tourism (RECAT) grant, a program that supports projects to promote and enhance recreational opportunities on and near rivers or lakes within Iowa's cities.

Dubuque has developed its riverfront with the history and natural resources of the Mississippi River in mind.  The city's riverfront is home to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, William Woodward Mississippi River Center, Diamond Jo National River Center, the National Rivers Hall of Fame and the Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum

Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol is one of the initial group of Mississippi River mayors who recently launched the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, designed to create an influential voice on behalf the Mississippi River and its cities and towns, and to increase demand for effective River protection, restoration and management in Washington, DC. 

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