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Corps: Rise in farming, industry, spurs need for stronger Mississippi River infrastructure

An Army Corps of Engineers official says higher-capacity ports, expanded locks and other infrastructure improvements are needed in the Mississippi River Watershed to respond to increased shipping demands and changing climate conditions.

Brig. Gen. Peter A. DeLuca is commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley Division. He spoke at a public hearing Tuesday that was held on a corps vessel on the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee.

DeLuca said more farming and manufacturing in the Mississippi Valley, plus a national rise in natural gas and oil production, are creating a higher demand for shipping along the nation's inland waterways. He also said there have been an increase in storm intensities and a rise in annual precipitation in the watershed, necessitating changes in water management plans.

The Mississippi Watershed covers 41 percent of the country.

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