ALTON - Alton Mayor David Goins will continue to represent Illinois as the State Chair of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI).

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MRCTI is an organization that brings together the towns on the Mississippi River. The mayors of these towns connect to discuss management, conservation efforts and ways to celebrate and protect the Mississippi River.

“It is exciting to work with mayors on behalf of our river,” Goins said. “This coalition has really gained a strong voice in Washington D.C. because of the collaboration of mayors. We’re mayors from the upper, middle and lower Mississippi, and we comprise 102 mayors who are on the river from Minnesota all the way down to New Orleans. Each of us have our own challenges and our own ideas.”

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As the Illinois State Chair, Goins will represent the 18 Illinois mayors who are a part of the coalition. He took on this role when the previous Illinois State Chair mayor was not reelected. Goins was recently nominated and reappointed to serve a full term as State Chair.

MRCTI has several goals and platforms, but Goins is particularly interested in flood mitigation, the importance of which he has seen firsthand in Alton. He said that plastic pollution is another major concern of MRCTI, and they are focusing a lot of energy toward combating pollution in the river.

“Also through MRCTI we have a lot of access to resources that help cities,” Goins added. “Being a part of MRCTI helps us to gain access to grants and direction on the best way to utilize the grant money that best suits our needs in the community.”

MRCTI equips mayors with tools to manage the Mississippi River locally, but the organization also unites the mayors to fight for larger-scale changes. Goins said he has learned a lot from the MRCTI meetings and conferences. He has enjoyed working to preserve the river in Alton and across the country.

“We get an opportunity to go to Washington and lobby with our federal legislators on behalf of the Mississippi River, and I think that’s exciting,” Goins said. “I’m deeply honored.”

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