WASHINGTON, D.C. - St. Cloud Mayor David Kleis, and other mayors from Mississippi River towns, spent this (Wednesday) morning on Capitol Hill, and this (Wednesday) afternoon at the White House.

Kleis is the co-chair of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative.  He says the river is important for the nation's economy.

Kleis says if barge traffic on the river is halted for just one day it has a negative impact to the U.S. GDP of $300 million.  He also says 18 million people use the river for their drinking water.

Kleis says they're talking about ways to enhance the river and keep it sustainable.  For example, he says Asian Carp is already impacting parts of the river, and it could have a crippling impact on tourism if the invasive fish made it's way to our part of the river.

Besides meeting with members of Congress, and officials from the White House Administration, the mayors are also talking with the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and other federal organizations.

Kleis says the organization will release their platform tomorrow (Thursday).