Upper Mississippi River Basin Sustainability Report

In a Nutshell

Publish, promote, and distribute a Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) report titled Our Future? A Vision for a Land, Water, and Economic Ethic in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. The report, originally prepared in early 2012, provides a truly sustainable approach to managing our natural resources and economy that can be replicated across the country. MCE is seeking $7,000 to cover a gap in printing and promotional costs.

Project Information


The Missouri Coalition for the Environment works to protect and restore the environment through education, public engagement, and legal action.

The report covers the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB), which runs from the Twin Cities in Minnesota to the Confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, IL. However, the report uses the UMRB as a case study for developing a true framework for sustainability that can be replicated virtually anywhere.

The concept and definition of sustainability typically used is insufficient because it does not adequately consider and account for the depletion of natural resources and the growing volumes of waste deposits into our environment. This report uses a sustainability framework called "strong" sustainability that was developed to overcome these omissions.

MCE will be updating the three-year old report with new and additional information that was not available when the report was originally prepared.


MCE is seeking funding assistance for the update design and printing of the report.

Report Abstract: Missouri Coalition for the Environment, with the help of several other organizations and individuals, has completed a new report on sustainability using the Upper Mississippi River Basin as the focus area. The report takes a different, and we believe a more rational and supportable approach, to sustainability than other reports typically have. This report is based upon the concept of “strong” sustainability that dispels the inaccurate primary assumptions that our society is based upon, that there are no limits to natural resources or economic growth. Using this approach, conclusions and recommendations become significantly different in creating a long-term vision for the region than our current, unsustainable economic view of the world elicits. The report does not ‘settle’ for mere tweaks of the current failed approaches- instead it insists on a bold vision. It provides specific information about the links between ongoing environmental damage in the Basin and our growth-seeking economy, which is fundamentally incompatible with limited natural resources. It is written to provoke thought, dialogue and movement. The report ‘connects the dots’ between structural problems in our economy and their river impacts and is a case study for a national strong sustainability program.


We will be updating the document and then professionally printing 500 copies of the report. The updating costs will be covered by MCE. We estimate the total cost of the project to be $10,000.
Total project costs: $10,000
Funding gap for professional printing: $7,000


Our Future? will serve as the foundation of a multi-faceted learning experience that will supply decision makers, public agencies, NGOs, institutions, high school and college students, and the general public with important and necessary environmental and economic information that is not typically provided in a holistic manner. A series of supporting products, including the report itself, distributed to our audience and the media will explain the details that support the report’s conclusions and recommendations.

We will distribute the Our Future? report, develop supporting print and electronic materials, and implement the first phase of an essential transformation of how we view and manage one of our greatest river ecosystems.


Missouri Coalition for the Environment
3115 S. Grand Blvd., Ste. 650
St. Louis, MO 63118

Contact Person: Heather B. Navarro or Brad Walker

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The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is Missouri’s independent, citizens' environmental organization for clean water, clean air, clean energy, and a healthy environment.