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Assessing and Managing Risk along the Mississippi River Corridor

March 9, 2018

The Mississippi River Valley has been hit by droughts, floods, extreme heat, and tornadoes that resulted in damages totaling over $50 billion since 2011. From 2005 to 2017, that total eclipses $200 billion with each effected state incurring a minimum $5 billion in damages. One positive result in reaction to those natural disasters was the formation of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI), a coalition of mayors focused on resilience and adaptation programs. Last week, mayors of the ten states along the river met with leaders from the global and North American insurance industry to discuss reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience in the face of climate-related disasters. It marked the first time these stakeholders participated in a structured dialogue with each other and is part of another first… a planned Mississippi River-wide vulnerability assessment. The meeting was convened by MRCTI, UN Environment North America, and the Wilson Center. After the landmark meeting, we spoke with four of the participants in two separate episodes of Wilson Center NOW.


Lionel Johnson, Jr.

Alex Kaplan

Barbara Hendrie

Butch Bacani

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Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Since 1991, the Urban Sustainability Laboratory has advanced solutions to urban challenges—such as poverty, exclusion, insecurity, and environmental degradation—by promoting evidence-based research to support sustainable, equitable and peaceful cities.  Read more