There's a river somewhere that flows through the lives of everyone.
— Roberta Flack, American singer-songwriter
Rivers connect us. Rivers also teach us. We learn from our cherished Mississippi River about power through unity. The Mississippi does not turn its back on any of its tributaries - regardless of what they are carrying - clean and polluted water, joys, and sorrows. Indeed, the River achieves its majesty by being inclusive and welcoming of all. Let us not shy away from the healing and transformational work that must collectively be done to create a healthier and more just Mississippi River for the land, water, wildlife, and people. Thank you for being a valued member of our River Citizen community, we hope you enjoy your August 2020 newsletter!
-Michael Anderson, Mississippi River Network
P.S. Can you please take this survey to let us know which River-friendly actions are most important to you?
2020 Gulf Dead Zone Measurement Small Due to Hurricane, Not Pollution Reductions
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) completed its annual cruise to measure the Gulf Dead Zone earlier in August. Thanks to Hurricane Hanna, the measured size of the Dead Zone this year is significantly smaller than average. This year’s Dead Zone was over approximately 2,100 square miles or 1.4 million acres – larger than the state of Delaware. We could all rally around something to celebrate these days, and a shrinking Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone created by reduced nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin would certainly be an incredible accomplishment. Unfortunately, this year’s small Dead Zone measurement does not equal small pollution.
A Dead Zone of any size puts an economic strain on local fisheries as well as recreation and tourism-based River economies. In fact, NOAA estimates that the “Dead Zone” costs U.S. seafood and tourism industries at least $82 million a year. At a time when our River communities are grappling with multiple disasters, this is money we cannot afford to lose. Read more about where nutrient pollution comes from and why we should care in Maisah's blog post here.
Take 1-Minute Survey: You and River-Friendly Actions
To best serve our River Citizen community, we want to hear from you. Please take this quick survey on which River-friendly actions are most important to you. We will use these findings to guide the educational, engagement, and advocacy-based resources we are committed to providing you with. So, what are you waiting for? Thanks in advance!
We can all use more joy and moments to celebrate. River Citizens, we are proud to report a recent advocacy success!
Thanks to YOUR support, the House of Representatives passed legislation in August (in the Water Resources Development Act or 'WRDA') that includes major wins for the Mississippi River, including increased appropriations funding for habitat restoration, science, and monitoring as well as authorization for a full watershed study of the Upper Mississippi River.
About: In this episode, Mark River interviews John Ruskey about the worsening flood events along the Mississippi River and how human engineering - in an attempt to keep the river stable for development, agriculture, commerce - has unintentionally endangered the crucial wetlands and put communities such as New Orleans at risk.
About: Join Curator of Environmental Life David Lobbig for a virtual tour of the place where the Mighty Miss meets one of the most important trade and fishing rivers in US history. From the magnificent Clark Bridge we’ll motor up the Great River Road and then paddle the rivers. We’ll explore Pere Marquette State Park, Calhoun County, bluff towns, and archaeological sites, and we’ll also unpack the complicated and mysterious Piasa bird story.
About: In what ways does the Mississippi River directly contribute to life, commerce, and community? How can we honor the river in ways that are more realistic, respectful, and sustainable? Join Washington University’s Derek Hoeferlin, an associate professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, and American Rivers’ Olivia Dorothy, the director of Upper Mississippi River Basin, as they extoll the value of the Mississippi River by defining the ways it supports and affects our economy on local and global scales.
Thanks for reading the August 2020 River Citizen Newsletter. If you found value in the e-newsletter, please forward it on to three people today!
-Michael Anderson, River Citizen Newsletter Curator
About 1 Mississippi
1 Mississippi is brought to you by the Mississippi River Network (MRN). MRN is a coalition of 57 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.