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Dear Friend,

Our Mississippi River is a national treasure. From the backbone of our culture and economy to a habitat refuge for thousands of animal and plant species and water supply for over 18 million people, the health and wellbeing of the River affects us all. So, how is our Mighty Mississippi? Below, we share a recent report and key findings summarizing the status and trends from 25 years of scientific monitoring on the Upper Mississippi River.

Also included in your July 2022 River Citizen newsletter are upcoming events, news, and opportunities. And please join us in welcoming a new team member and celebrating an impactful second-annual Mississippi River Network's River Days of Action!

With you in creating a healthier Mississippi River for all,
-Michael Anderson, Outreach and Engagement Manager, Mississippi River Network

P.S. Did you take our newest online action yet? In less than a minute, you can speak up for our River. Click here to go to the action page and send an email to Congress to help restore our River. Join hundreds of your fellow community members and make a difference today. Thanks!

How is the Upper Mississippi River? New Report Released

The Ecological Status and Trends Report is prepared by the Upper Mississippi River Restoration program, a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals working together to support the Upper Mississippi River System ecosystem rehabilitation, research, and monitoring. Scott Morlock, U.S. Geological Survey Regional Director, shared that "the report summarizes analyses of more than 25 years of monitoring data to help detect trends, understand change over time and observe complex river patterns".

Here's what we know. The Upper Mississippi River system is changing for various reasons, and because it is a large and diverse ecosystem, the rate and type of change differ regionally. Key findings include:

  • There is more water in the river more of the time, with high flows lasting longer and occurring more frequently
  • Floodplain forest loss has occurred across the system
  • In most areas, water in the main channel has become clearer
  • Concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus remain high, exceeding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency benchmarks
  • The river system continues to support diverse and abundant fishes

There is much to learn from this critical report. Our team continues to digest the findings, and we invite you to explore the full report here. 


Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Next Generation Ag and Conservation Professionals Mentorship program
Applications due August 1
This mentorship program focuses on students of color and offers rich opportunities to connect and be in community with incredible mentors, farmers, and trainers, representing diverse ag communities across the Upper Midwest.

New Book: Watershed Cairns, Mississippi River South
Artist Libby Reuter and photographer Joshua Rowan have released their new Mississippi River South book, 9x12-inches,120 pages, and 55 images that were created from the Ohio Confluence to the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about Watershed Cairns here and purchase the book here.

Arlington Wetlands (Illinois) Volunteer Workday
July 23rd, 9am - 12pm
Join HeartLands Conservancy and fellow volunteers in helping restore Arlington Wetlands by assisting with invasive species removal, native plantings, and trash clean-up.

Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
One of the greatest issues facing our River is an excess of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution running off agricultural and urban areas and creating annual hypoxic, or 'dead zones'. The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone is forecasted to be approximately 5,364 square miles and will be measured at the end of July. We will follow-up with opportunities to take action - stay tuned.


River Days of Action 2022 a success!

In its second year, the Mississippi River Network’s (MRN) River Days of Action (‘River Days’) continues to be a powerful example of what’s possible when we act together as 1 Mississippi. From June 7th – 12th, 2022, 50 MRN member organizations and community partners hosted more than 30 online and in-person events in all ten states the Mississippi River flows through. Over 1400 people participated in the various offerings, from canoe-based community cleanups and hands-on habitat restoration events to guided river museum tours and policy-focused educational webinars. River Days 2022 provided something for everyone while creating a healthier Mississippi River for people, land, water, and wildlife!

Here are three ways you can still join in on River Days:
#1: Take Action Now to Help Restore Our River
In less than a minute, you can make a difference. Use our template to email Congress urging their action to restore our Mississippi River. We only need ten more people to pass 300 people taking this action!

#2: A few online events were recorded. Check them out on
1 Mississippi's YouTube channel, including:

#3: Make a difference by supporting our work! Your gift of just $6 will cover the cost for one person to attend this year's River Days of Action, and your $25 donation will cover the annual costs for one River Citizen. Giving is a simple way to make a big difference - can the River count on you?

River Days Spotlight: Quapaw Canoe Company took folks out to West Montezuma Island where they picked up trash, swapped stories, shared food, and connected with the River. Guide Jean-Canot Stephen Walker put it best: "A group of Mississippi River lovers from across the globe gathered for a common purpose: to protect the River they love”.


Meet our new team member, Gretchen Hagle!

Please join us in welcoming our new Development Specialist, Gretchen Hagle (she/her)! With experience working with Mississippi River Network members like the Tennessee Environmental Council, Gretchen knows how the River connects us all. Find out about her work philosophy and what she enjoys doing outside of work in her staff bio.


River in the News

1 Mississippi is the national public program of the Mississippi River Network. Since 2009, 1 Mississippi has built a community of 20,000 River Citizens and inspired thousands of actions. From armchairs to wading boots, River Citizens protect the River by speaking up on its behalf and caring for it in simple ways that make a difference.

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