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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Neighborhood Clean-Up!

One simple bright emblem led me to an awesome group of people who care about the River and how it affects them and their community. I live in a lovely neighborhood in the great river city of Memphis, TN — about 3 miles away from the river. Going on a walk with my family, I always notice these colorful emblems on our sewer drain.  I assumed these were found throughout the city, but after some investigation, it turns out that it took the...

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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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