June 2020 River Citizen Newsletter: Birds of Quarantine, Healthy Soils = Healthy Rivers, River Quiz, and more! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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River Citizen,

Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the ensuing global social uprising, we sent an email out to our River Citizen community stating that we stand in deep sadness, righteous anger, and solidarity with Black communities who suffer because of racism and police brutality. The Mississippi River Network’s Executive Director, Kelly McGinnis, shared further that, “environmental work and racial justice are inexorably linked and in fact are all part of the same movement; to truly protect water, you need to protect communities and we know that Black communities face disproportionate environmental risks and impacts.” (Read the full statement here.)

Over the past month, we have received emails from folks in our River Citizen community seeking further resources to better understand how River advocacy and racial justice are interconnected. Here is a starting place:

We know that the Mississippi (which goes by many names) is here for us all and that anyone can become a River Citizen and take meaningful action to protect and care for our beautiful River. We also know that we all do not experience the River the same way. To create a just, equitable, and safe-for-all River now, and for the generations to come, we need all-hands-on-deck cooperating, learning, and working together.

River Citizen, chances are 2020 has knocked you and those you care about down many times. I am wishing for you the courage to keep going and growing, balance, and that your needs may be met.

For the land, water, wildlife, and people of the River,

-Michael Anderson, Mississippi River Network


Birds of Quarantine

Mark 'River' Peoples (MS/AR Outreach Coordinator) hasn't stopped his passion for birdwatching during the pandemic. Instead of pointing out birds from a canoe while guiding people safely on the Lower Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Company, Mark River is finding a flurry of bird activity in his neighborhood and has "watched the birds turn [a] small downtown courtyard into a quarantine sanctuary." Perhaps you have seen a similar sight near you? 

Heron and Reflection. Photo Credit Iowan River Citizen, Mike Schwenker.

In Birds of Quarantine, Mark River also shares the message that "all living creatures are important to the health of the world and we are put here to sustain and protect for future generations. We have the intelligent minds and science to pursue this, so let’s not be afraid to ask the serious questions, create dialogue, and not be afraid to be the country we say we are." 


It's What We Do On Land

1. Healthier soils can save farmers money all while protecting our rivers from pollutants

2. Sticky soil created the plow

This is the start of Policy Manager Maisah Khan's list of 10 facts she learned on a recent Mississippi River Network webinar on healthy soil and legislation. You can read Maisah's full list of facts published in her recent blog "What's soil got to do with...rivers?"

Mississippi River Carrying Sediment Creating Algal Bloom in the Gulf of Mexico. Image shot 2007. Source: NASA/Landsat/Phil Degginger / Alamy Stock Photo

On our list of 10 actions River Citizens can take to create a healthier River is supporting sustainable agriculture practices, policies, and people who promote healthy soil. Using your dollars to support and encourage local farmers who integrate responsible farming techniques helps take care of the land for future generations and creates a healthier Mississippi River. Typically, as we move deeper into the summer months, harmful algal blooms fed by nutrient pollution begin emerging on our waterways. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with sources of nutrient pollution and how you can make a difference for clean water.


How well do you know the Mississippi River?

Do you love the Mississippi River?

Test your knowledge and love for it by completing these quick questions! To learn more about the Mississippi River make sure you also check out 1mississippi.org


Upcoming River Events

Native Lifeways on the Greenways (TONIGHT 6/25)

  • When: Thursday, June 25th from 7 - 8 pm CT
  • Where: MO Humanities Council Zoom - Register Here
  • About: Native Peoples' relationships with the land speaks of the significant understanding of the waterways, wildlife, and ecology. We discuss these incredibly valuable relationships in a virtual overview of Great Rivers Greenway

Women of the Mississippi Series

  • When: Ongoing - call for stories now!
  • Where: Email kornelas@parkconnection.org to submit a story (approx. 750-1000 words) and for more details on how to get involved
  • About: Mississippi Park Connection is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment with a new story series online highlighting women who have had great impact on the Mississippi River and our river park.

Living with the River: Flooding and Community Response

  • When: Tuesday, July 21st at 11 am
  • Where: Missouri Historical Society (Zoom) - more info here
  • About: Citizens of the St. Louis area are often reminded of just how powerful the Mississippi River is when waters rise. Learn from guest speakers about factors that contribute to flooding as well as actions that governments, organizations, and individuals can take to make our river communities more resilient.

Support the Land and Water Conservation Fund 

River in the News


Thanks for reading the June 2020 River Citizen Newsletter. If you found value in the e-newsletter, please forward it on to three people today!

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 info@1mississippi.org.