Farm Fresh, Just Around the Corner

Soon, the seasons will be changing again into my personal favorite – spring. Springtime brings nature to life again from the dormant, cold winter. The rains and melting of northern snows bring a bursting Mississippi River to all the cities and towns along the way. This also means it is time for local farmers to begin planting delicious fruits and vegetables. Many farmers will offer their goods at farmers markets and stands along the side of...

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Amongst AMONGST THE CURRENT: Grafton to Alton, IL, on the Mississippi

Bummer. Grassroots Grocery would not open for another hour, yet I had told the paddlers I would grab sandwiches and local fruit before meeting them.  I called to see if the new manager was at the store yet.  SHE WAS!  After a breezy stop by the cozy co-op, I proceeded towards Grafton to meet up with Amongst the Current, Cody Presny and Haley Brasile, and their solo-paddler companion, Bito.  Cody and Haley were canoeing the entire Mississippi...

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River Life

It’s mid June and the Mississippi River water levels are higher than normal. Back channels are flowing and the floodplain is thriving. Flocks of birds inhabit the archipelago islands throughout the basin. Beautiful indigo buntings , orioles, and yellow warblers frequent the forest canopies singing there unique songs and spreading seeds of life. The islands are pristine and new, yes new, as the landscapes are changing constantly with each...

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A Momentary, Muddy, and Memorable Voyageur Canoe Race

http://1mississippi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/20160626_171328.mp4 “Tanner, would you like to get on the water—a 15-minute canoe ride?” my friend, Greg Poleski, asked as I scrambled to get my booth ready for Race for the Rivers Festival 2016.  Greg was instrumental in the planning of the event, which would not start for an hour; however, it was only my second time setting up the flooding demonstration model that I had borrowed from...

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Sultana Disaster

Do you know that the largest maritime disaster in the United States occurred on the Mississippi River? It is estimated that 1,800 of the Sultana’s 2,400 passengers died when the side-wheel steamboat sank on April 27th, 1865. The U.S. government had contracted the newly built Sultana to carry former Civil War prisoners from Vicksburg, Mississippi back up the river to various locations. Although the Sultana’s capacity was 376 passengers,...

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Talking trash: Why we should keep plastic out of the waterways.

One of the most beautiful and refreshing outdoor experiences I have had in the U.S was hiking the Great Smoky Mountains. Just like the Mississippi River, it is seen internationally as one of America’s most pristine natural landmarks. I decided to camp out near the Ocoee River because of its beautiful hiking trails and one day, as I was walking to a nearby waterfall, I noticed how much litter was covering up the natural green background of the...

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Electrified Fish Fences and Oil Slicks: One Woman’s Paddling Adventure

Beginning mid-August, Margo Pellegrino will paddle her outrigger canoe from Chicago to New Orleans with the hopes of raising awareness about water quality issues. The journey will take her through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (a human-made “hydrologic connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins”),¹ down the Illinois, Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, to Kentucky Lake, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and...

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