ALTON -- Two mayors from southern Illinois say they're going to Washington next month to talk with lawmakers about the Mississippi River.
The Telegraph in Alton reports Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson and Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst say they plan to talk about ecosystem restoration, sustainable economies and environmentally friendly flood plain development.
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The pair will leave for Washington on March 19. They are two of several mayors making the trip for the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative.
Thompson says his city views the river "as a sacred trust," something not just to look at but to regard "almost like our spiritual soul, with all of its history and resources."
The mayor says they want to make Washington lawmakers aware of possibilities for river town development and protecting them from pollution.