2019 Gulf Dead Zone smaller than forecasted – why?

The forecast for a record size Gulf Hypoxic Zone this year got much attention in the media, followed by the actual measurement of an area of low oxygen that was smaller than predicted. What happened, and why? This image from NOAA shows agricultural (green) and urban (red) nutrient pollution sources in the Mississippi River Watershed. The nutrient-laden river water spills into the Gulf of Mexico fueling the Gulf Hypoxic Dead Zone...

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3 Key Points for Comments on Future of Upper Mississippi River

The river is falling, but the high water event of 2019 isn’t over yet. Decisions will need to be made not only for response to this record event but for planning for the future. The Mississippi River Network (MRN) is committed to facilitating public participation in this process. An important series of meetings are providing the chance for River Citizens and the general public to participate in the decision-making process regarding next...

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5 need-to-knows about Mississippi River Nutrient Pollution in 2019 and how you can help

Nutrients are essential for life, right? Yes. So, what’s the issue? What do you mean nutrient pollution? Nutrient pollution is what we are seeing in our waterways today. It’s jeopardizing clean drinking water for 20 million people in the Mississippi River Basin and it fuels the notorious Gulf of Mexico hypoxic (low to no oxygen) ‘Dead Zone’. Algae Bloom – Photo Credit- Brenda Culler -ODNR Coastal...

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The Sweet Spot

 It’s June, and the Mississippi River is still unusually high, but here in the Lower Mississsippi, we seemed to be in the sweet spot. ‘The Sweet Spot’ – photo by Tanner Aljets The Missouri River is causing havoc throughout the Eastern Midwest with flooding in the upper Mississippi Valley, while the Arkansas River is pushing tons of water into the Mississippi River above Greenville, MS. We have beautiful...

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Multi-Benefits of Natural Infrastructure

Natural infrastructure, or green infrastructure refers to natural river system elements like wetlands, marshes, swamps, and floodplains. The ground in these areas resembles a spongy texture, that allows water to be absorbed. Natural infrastructures are typically managed to ensure biodiversity, ensure quality water, and floodwater retention. Building levees, dams, homes, and businesses in a floodplain modifies the River in various ways,...

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More Action for the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan

The Gulf Hypoxia Task Force met in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 16. It was a gathering with some historical significance. The Task Force, composed of states along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and key federal agencies, last met in that city in October 2000, when the participants signed the first version of the Action Plan for Reducing Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. Nutrient pollution in the Gulf of Mexico caused by runoff from about 40...

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The Muddy & Flood-y Mississippi River

Drone footage provided by Alex Fisher The powerful energy our river provides is often underestimated until the waters begin to rise. The beginning of our spring proved this to be true, contributing to record flooding in Nebraska, and challenging historic levels in Iowa. Where I am located, in Alton, Illinois, we are looking to crest at 35.5 feet on May 4, which is just seven feet shy of our record crest in 1993, 42.2 feet. Hoses line...

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