American Rivers is a Mississippi River Network member and national river advocacy organization that releases an annual report of America's 'Most Endangered Rivers'. Number one on the list for Most Endangered Rivers of 2020 is our beloved Upper Mississippi River. In her latest blog, Kristen Mertz, recaps the Most Endangered River listing, highlighting issues and opportunities, while also sharing about the criteria used to generate the report.
Flooding on the Upper Mississippi River. Photo: Crystal Dorothy, American Rivers.
From American Rivers: "The upper Mississippi River is critical to the nation’s economy and is a globally significant ecosystem. However, climate change is driving more intense rainstorms, leading to more frequent and prolonged flooding in the Upper Midwest. This new reality puts people, habitat, and infrastructure at risk — and communities along the upper Mississippi are dangerously unprepared. These risks are greatly exacerbated by two centuries of shortsighted floodplain and watershed-development decisions that have cut the river off from hundreds of thousands of acres of its floodplain, dangerously constricted the upper Mississippi River, and degraded vital fish and wildlife habitat."
Lower River Perspectives: coronavirus, water, and choice
While camping out on a Lower Mississippi River island this spring, Mark River Peoples reflects on the "health crisis on the mainland" and raises some important questions in his latest blog titled 'Wake Up'.
Mark River Peoples, Arkansas/Mississippi outreach coordinator; Chief Guide Quapaw Canoe Company
"Now I know my instincts were real. There’s an imbalance in our natural world. Some see these occurrences as coincidental, but I see them as warnings of what we can do better. If a virus can infiltrate our world so effortlessly and efficiently, what would happen to our country if the water in the Mississippi River was compromised?”
-Mark River Peoples reflects in his latest blog "Wake Up"
Banks of the Mississippi during eclipse. Photo: Adam Dutton on Unsplash
Introducing Maisah Khan, Policy Manager
Please join us in welcoming our newest staff member, Maisah Khan!
Maisah brings a wealth of experience directing policy at the federal, state, and local levels and knows how to mobilize organizations for collective impact and inspire people. Get to know Maisah by reading her intro blog here and welcome her to the Mississippi River Network and River Citizen community! We couldn't be more excited!
"I like to think of it this way: policy is about how our system of laws and governing structures work (or, more often, don’t work) in the real world. You can’t have policies without people, and that is what makes environmental policy equally exciting and perplexing. Our values, culture, and norms all play into what makes any given policy effective.
The Mississippi River offers so much from its natural beauty to its amazing source of drinking water. The River has been here long before people, yet has been home to humans for thousands of years. There are so many reasons to love the Mississippi - we want to know what's yours? Please take this one-question survey here.
About: The Illinois Environmental Council has produced nearly 30 one-hour webinars with expert guests since March 18th, 2020. From urban stormwater to improving soil health at home, there's a topic here for everyone.
About: Mississippi River educational history, science, and conservation content from the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. From virtual museum tours to engaging river animal videos and historic collections; there is something here for everyone.
Thanks for reading the April 2020 River Citizen Newsletter. If you found value in the e-newsletter, please forward it on to three people today!
For the River,
Michael Anderson, 1 Mississippi newsletter curator
About 1 Mississippi
The 1 Mississippi and River Citizen program is brought to you by the Mississippi River Network (MRN). MRN is a coalition of 56 organizations dedicated to protecting the well-being of the land, water, wildlife, and people of America's greatest river, the Mississippi. Direct questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.