What Does it Take to Be a Rock Star River Citizen?

Dr. Zeb Hogan of the Nat Geo TV series, “Monster Fish,” became a River Citizen in May 2017

What an exciting spring it’s been for 1 Mississippi! In addition to enjoying the beauty that spring brings to the Mississippi River basin, Rock Star River Citizens like you have taken the time to help our mighty River become cleaner, safer and even more beautiful, through a variety of actions.

River Citizens Take Advocacy Action!

Over the past few months, River Citizens have reached out to elected officials through 1 Mississippi’s Action Center to urge legislators to protect the Mississippi River. For example, more than 400 of you signed our Budget Cuts petition, which urges Congress to oppose the Trump Administration’s drastic budget cuts to the agencies that safeguard our drinking water and natural resources. And your actions have made a difference as voices of many River Citizens were heard and Congress kept funding for many vital protections in the current budget.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s just-released budget proposal for next year again includes those rejected cuts, putting clean water and air and public health at risk in our region and nationally. So, we need more of you to sign our petition to help safeguard the agencies that protect our River. You can sign that petition here.

In April, many River Citizens attended the  Water Action Day at the Minnesota capitol and the Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters Advocacy Day at the Illinois capitol. You met with lawmakers to let them know you care about the Mississippi River and how they can help protect it. In Illinois, you also helped to sign up four Illinois legislators and an alderman to become 1 Mississippi River Citizens!  Having our elected officials become River Citizens shows their commitment to protecting the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Illinois Senator, Sam McCann, and River Citizens Brent and Melissa Schwoerer (Engrained Brewing Company), proudly hold their River Citizen sign-up cards


Illinois Represenative, Allen Skillicorn, and 1 Mississippi Campaign Coordinator, Brooke Thurau. Representative Skillicorn became a River Citizen at the Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters Advocacy Day


It’s also worth noting that the President of the Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Steve Stirewalt, became a River Citizen. Soil and Water Conservation Districts help local farmers implement farm conservation practices to keep soil in the fields and agricultural pollution out of our waterways.  Agricultural pollution causes damaging algal blooms and creates the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Steve Stierwalt, President of the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, became a River Citizen last month (pictured with Rebecca Osland of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance).


River Citizens Participate in 1 Mississippi Events

Your participation in Earth Day events and River cleanups again this year have helped to make our River not only more beautiful, but safer as well. Millions of tons of trash end up in our nation’s waterways every year. Trash in our River is not only an eyesore, it can harm our drinking water supplies and cause problems for wildlife. One of 1 Mississippi’s member organizations, the Sierra Club-Piasa Palisades Group, continues to organize litter cleanups to help keep trash out of our River. Check out 1 Mississippi Outreach Assistant, Tanner Aljets,’ recent blog to learn more!

River Citizen, Chris Ragsdale, Steve Schnaar of Missouri River Relief, and another helper after loading up on tires.


Many River Citizens also attended the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium  and 1 Mississippi’s event last week where Nat Geo TV  host of Monster Fish, Dr. Zeb Hogan, gave a presentation called, “Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants” that took the audience  “on a deeper dive into thehidden world of some of the world’s largest freshwater fish”. Dr. Hogan then signed up to become a River Citizen! Dr. Hogan cares deeply about the world’s fish and the health of our waterways. We are proud and grateful that he joined the 1 Mississippi community.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, 1 Mississippi member organization, Friends of Pool 2, held their annual meeting. River Citizen and author, Dean Klinkenberg,  gave a presentation called, “Songs and Stories of the River,” that was enjoyed by all River Citizens who attended the meeting.

River Citizens, stay tuned to learn about 1 Mississippi events and action alerts so that you can continue to protect our mighty River. Be sure to check your email inbox and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also invite your friends to become a part of 1 Mississippi by asking them to sign up to become River Citizens on our website.

Your friend and fellow River Citizen,