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Voice Your Opinion on the DMRA Project

DMRA Project in DSM

May 13, 2020

In our current reality, we are unable to gather for discussion, debate or meetings in-person. This age of all digital all the time will not last forever, but it does enable us to continue to make decisions, connect and problem solve via video chat, text, phone or direct message during these times of isolation. This sort of connectivity is crucial in keeping many organizations and businesses moving forward; however, it does not successfully enable the masses to gather in an organized fashion to voice their opinions and air their concerns. Public opinion is one of many things that drives our economies, our governments and our systems. What issues are important to us as a city, a region or a nation? What matters to the communities in which we live and work? During this time, we need to still be asking these questions and seeking out information. Knowing what the public wants and needs allows our community leaders to thoughtfully address citizen’s value systems now and into the future.

Virtual Meeting for Public Input

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is asking the public for their opinion in an online meeting for the Des Moines River Activation and Possible Dam Modification (DMRA) Project. It is online now and available through Wednesday, June 3, 2020. We are asking that you visit DMRAProject.com to learn more and share your two cents.

The DMRA Project, located in Downtown Des Moines (DSM), would provide a regional water trail network on the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers that enhance recreational opportunities and create safer public access in the Downtown DSM riverfront.

Why does this matter to you? Because if you’re reading this, you likely live and work in or close to the DSM region. This project is the linchpin that will connect 150 miles of water trails throughout our region and create new recreation opportunities for all to enjoy. The DMRA Project, funded by the BUILD Grant, public and private funding sources, is one of the first phases of implementation of the Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan, which outlines a series of recommendations ranging from new water access locations for emergency response, in-stream habitat improvements for aquatic species increased opportunities for in-river recreation and water-quality improvements. This online public meeting is a continuation of previous public meetings hosted by the Des Moines Area MPO, including “The Dam Debate III” and “The Dam Plan” presentations held in October 2017 and June 2018, respectively.

On behalf of all involved in the project, we hope you will take the time to consider what the DMRA Project means to you and to visit DMRAProject.com to share your opinion.

The Central Iowa Water Trails project will connect more than 150 miles of water trails and 86 access sites throughout the region. This multi-year project is led by the Central Iowa Water Trails Incubator. The Incubator is supported by a coalition of regional organizations working together through Capital Crossroads, including Catch Des Moines, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Great Outdoors Foundation, and the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. For more information, visit centraliowawatertrails.org.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Maggie McClelland

A West Des Moines native, Maggie McClelland currently serves as Central Iowa Water Trails (CIWT) project manager. She works directly with the CIWT, LLC board of directors and 11 corresponding working committees, as well as various stakeholders and jurisdictional partners providing strategic direction and insight on the project.