VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) has canceled its annual high-water inspection trip and public hearings on board the MV Mississippi, which was scheduled for March 29 – April 3, 2020. The health and safety for people is a priority during this critical time in our nation.“Taking care of people is and will remain at the forefront of all that we do,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Toy, President of the MRC and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division. “My fellow commissioners and I remain engaged with our federal, state and local partners, and communities to continue to prosecute the comprehensive river management system known as the Mississippi River and Tributaries project.”In order to allow public testimony to still be received by the commission, individual districts will solicit testimony to be filed for the record from stakeholders with an opening date for submission of March 23, 2020, and closing on April 3, 2020. Additional instructions will be provided with the solicitation.The Mississippi River Commission, established in 1879, is composed of seven members, each nominated by the President of the United States and vetted by the Senate. Three of the organization's members are officers of the Corps of Engineers; one member is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and three members are civilians, two of whom are civil engineers.General duties of the commission include recommending policy and work programs, studying and reporting on the necessity for modifications or additions to the flood control and navigation project and conducting semi-annual inspection trips. The authority of the commission extends the entire length of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to Head of Passes, Louisiana, where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.The Mississippi River Commission brings critical engineering representation to the drainage basin, which impacts 41% of the United States and includes 1.25 million square miles, over 250 tributaries, 31 states and two Canadian provinces.