As Fall settles on the Mississippi River, we extend our gratitude to all who participated in last months' River Citizens Challenge and to those who have shown up for the River this summer! From growing the community by spreading the word about 1 Mississippi (the only national public program dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mississippi River from headwaters to gulf) to taking advocacy action and attending local River-focused events. Just like our Mighty River takes in water from so many tributaries, we know that we each can offer efforts of stewardship and care in many unique ways. We applaud your dedication to the land, water, wildlife, and people of the Mississippi River, and wish you ease flowing into Fall.
Clean Water Rule repeal? Get ready for action
It shouldn't be a 'leap' in understanding that streams and wetlands connect to bigger rivers, like the Mississippi. Plain and simple, the repeal of the Clean Water Rule reduces clean water protection. We can and must do better. Photo Credit: Pablo Guerrero
In Mid-September, the Clean Water Rule was repealed revoking the landmark 2015 environmental protections. The Clean Water Rule had reestablished safeguards for more than 20 million acres of wetlands and half of the nation’s streams, which help provide drinking water to more than 117 million Americans. Read this to learn more about the background on the Clean Water Rule and be on the lookout for information from 1 Mississippi on how to make your voice heard on this important issue in the coming months.
A multitude of Mississippi River-focused organizations met in Memphis, TN this past September to share information, strategize and act on River priorities. Pictured atop the Memphis Pyramid with the big River in the background is Olivia Dorothy (American Rivers) and Kelly McGinnis (Mississippi River Network).
Staff from the Mississippi River Network participated in three concurrent meetings held in Memphis in September that were focused on Mississippi River issues.
The three groups holding meetings were the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), the Mississippi River Legislative Caucus of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) and the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee (LMRCC).
One of the key benefits of meetings like those in Memphis is information exchange. At the LMRCC meeting, a representative of the Memphis District of the Corps gave a presentation on this year’s high-water event, and provided some figures (mostly focused on the lower river) that give a picture of how extreme this year has been:
The gauge at Hickman, KY recorded the highest cumulative volume of water ever there
2019 saw four periods of high rainfall that contributed to ongoing high water through the first 2/3 of the year. The year had 20 inches above normal rainfall by August 2019
New Orleans saw 1.25 million cfs in 2019 (the “design flood” level).
At Memphis 90% of the Miss. River’s average flow is passing; at Red River Landing in Louisiana 100% of the flow is passing by
Cairo, IL, Red River Landing, and Baton Rouge, LA saw a record number of days above flood stage in 2019.
The New Madrid, Missouri Floodway, designated for high water conveyance and storage, covers 133,000 acres, and is triggered at 500,000 cfs; this year it protected 2.5 million acres that would have been flooded, largely on the west side of the river.
Launching in 3, 2...New 1 Mississippi Website
Be on the lookout next week on 1 Mississippi social media for announcements of the new and improved 1 Mississippi website going live!
One of the pillars of the 1 Mississippi program is to best serve those who are looking to engage with, learn about, and take action for, our nation's treasure, the Mississippi River. We have been working hard with Mississippi River Network member organizations and website experts to revamp the 1mississippi.org website.
This month, the website will launch, and it will be overflowing with ways to get connected with the River! From upcoming events, advocacy actions you can take, and updates on pressing issues and opportunities, this website will be a one-stop-shop for River Citizens and beyond!
Get out there! October events
October 5th- Litter clean-up series (part V) // Grafton, IL // 9 am - 12 pm
Come lend a hand at Pere Marquette State Park. Volunteers have options to help rangers with litter clean-up or invasive species removal. More info from1 Mississippi here.
October 12th- Pelican Days // West Alton, MO // 10 am - 2 pm
Celebrate the fall migration of the American White Pelican at this family-friendly event with booths, food, live music and more. More info from the Audubon Center at Riverlands.
October 14th- Sierra Club River Speaker Series // Alton, IL // 7:30 - 9 pm
Join 1 Mississippi's, Kristen Mertz, at Old Bakery to get caught up to speed on River priorities and ways to get involved. More info can be found here!
October 23rd-24th- Upper Mississippi River Conference // Moline, IL
Sessions on water quality, recreation, eco-tourism, beneficial use of dredging and dredge materials, flood plain management, stewardship, and habitat restoration. More info from River Action here.
Thanks for reading this edition of the River Citizen Newsletter! We aim to keep you up to date on happenings up and down the Mississippi from federal policy to local engagement opportunities. If you enjoyed, forward this email on to a friend today!
For the River,
Michael Anderson, 1 Mississippi newsletter curator