Welcome to the River! What a Wild Ride!  

Thursday, April 21st, was my first day as a brand new Outreach Assistant for 1 Mississippi and what a day it was! I attended my first event — the annual CBU Vanderhaar Symposium and came face to face with the ultimate River Citizen…Chad Pregracke! Don’t know who Chad is? You should! Let me tell you why… Having grown up with the Mississippi River as literally his own back yard, Chad had a view of the river most folks don’t get to...

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River Habitat

This has been a unique summer for the Lower Mississippi River and the animals that thrive in its complex ecosystem. The high water levels that lasted well into August created an interesting boom in the reproduction of fish, reptiles, and amphibians, as well benefiting mammals and birds. An early trip on the Arkansas River opened my eyes to the importance of high water periods and the advantage it gives to all species. I watched fifty foot...

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Field Notes: The Spawn

The month of March brings the snow melt and the warm rains to the Mississippi River Watershed.  The melt from the Rockies in Wyoming feed the Bighorn and Tongue Rivers, while entering the Yellowstone River in Montana. The Grand and Cheyenne Rivers in South Dakota, the James River in North Dakota, the Platte River in Colorado, the Niobrara River in Nebraska, and the Osage River, all flow into the Missouri River, swelling its banks. The...

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“WANTED: World Record”

According to Wikipedia, a flotilla is simply a “fleet of ships or boats”. So what exactly is a “Floatzilla”? For the 5th year running, Mississippi River Network member and non-profit from Davenport, Iowa, River Action, has hosted an annual Floatzilla event to break the world record of 2,099 was set in Suttons Bay, Michigan last year. On Saturday, August 16th, 2014, hundreds of paddlers convened at Lake Potter in Rock Island, Illinois to...

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Mardi Gras Pass

How did Mardi Gras Pass get Such a Name? Strange things happen on Mardi Gras day. People transform. Hair suddenly grows, turns blue or pink, and trumpets blare. Wild sides bust loose from places that we never knew existed.   On a chilly Mardi Gras day two years ago, the Mississippi River was the one to bust loose and show its wild side. Pressure had been mounting at Bohemia Spillway, about 35 miles south of New Orleans, with months of...

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Maps: You Are Here – Now Get Lost! – Series Episode 5

Note: This is the fifth installment of my six-part blog series “River Gator: Exploring the River, Expanding Ourselves,” a recollection of my adventure on the Lower Mississippi River. Ever since I was a girl, I have loved maps, especially when I saw the all-powerful “You are here” arrow or dot. There is something so nice about being put on the map – I AM THERE. Driving across the country with my family as a child, we used a good...

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Field Notes: Healing with the Eagles

In 1975, when I was 7 years old, my family bought a house in North County, St. Louis on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. My grandfather, already living in St. Louis, gave my parents the idea we would have more opportunities there, and it indeed pulled us from lower middle class to upper.  St. Louis, being a very conservative town, resisted minorities moving to their pristine neighborhood through intimidation and systematic tactics. ...

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