CharlesSomervilleDr. Charles C. Somerville, dean of the College of Science at Marshall University, participated in the America’s Watershed Initiative that produced a “report card” on the Mississippi River, which was released last week.

Somerville is a member of the initiative’s steering committee, as well as the subcommittee that produced the report card on the Mississippi Valley watershed, including seven river basins that contribute to it.

“Locally, the Ohio River Basin received a C grade,” Somerville said. “Though a grade of C may not seem bad, there are significant improvements we need to make, particularly in transportation infrastructure and maintenance.”

The group gave an overall grade of D+ to the watershed, citing the need to improve information and management systems. The grade covered the ecosystems; flood control and risk reduction; transportation; economy; and recreation. The report pointed to the challenges ahead and the need for coordinated management.

Further information on the initiative is available online at