Little Orange Stream

The little stream was bright orange behind my grade school. Even as a first grader in the late 1960s in those days before the first Earth Day and before the Clean Water Act, I knew that it was bad to have an orange stream. The unnatural color came from a steel plant. People in the small northern Ohio town had jobs at the plant and chose not to complain about the orange color and chemical smell. Folks in neighboring communities downstream...

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Common Ground About Water

Enjoying life along the Mississippi River is as much about land as it is about water. Creating a healthier Mississippi River depends as much on finding common ground as it does about working with the flow of events. Over two-thirds of people living in counties along the Mississippi River enjoy the river by walking, running or bicycling on a trail or visiting a park with family and friends. Half of us socialize at community events and festivals,...

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ThrowBackThursday- October Newsletter: We All Live Downstream

Hello River Citizens, On October 14th, America’s Watershed Initiative (AWI) released the report card for the entire Mississippi River Watershed. This watershed encompasses thirty-one states and two Canadian Provinces and drains roughly forty percent of the country! That being said, it is a very complex system that has the ability to bring a wide array of stakeholders to the table. More than 400 businesses, associations, government agencies,...

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November Newsletter- “A River of Thanks: Why the Clean Water Rule Makes a Difference”

As we begin to gather with our friends and family for Thanksgiving, I am reminded that it was a successful harvest that made this tradition possible. I owe many thanks for my Thanksgiving feast to the nation’s farmers, ranchers and foresters that made it all possible; not just once a year, but all year round. We rely on the land and water as we always have, but to continue to do so in the future requires deliberate and ongoing stewardship of...

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Highway to the Dead Zone (no more?)

Protecting Traditions by Making New Ones On hot summer July days, many of us turn to our local creeks, rivers and lakes to cool down and have some fun. Going swimming is as much of an American summer tradition as apple pie and Independence Day fireworks. Unfortunately, too often these days we see lakes and beaches closed due to algae blooms that make it unsafe for swimming. These algae blooms are triggered by excess fertilizer run off from...

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Protect the Wetlands that Protect Us – May Newsletter

May 21, 2015 Hello River Citizens, Generations of people along the Mississippi River have attempted to protect themselves from flood waters with levees and with makeshift flood walls made from nothing more than sacks, sand and human energy. It’s a tremendous amount of work and though these earthen walls sometimes work, they also confine the water, channeling it’s strength, making the water run faster and highter until most often, nature...

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Is an Octopus Without Arms Still an Octopus? – November Newsletter

  Hello River Citizens, Have you ever stopped to think the water you drink might have once been inside a dinosaur, a cloud or even Albert Einstein? This is possible because water is constantly moving – from rain to rivers, drinking water to grey water, and even from octopus to orangutan and back again (with thousands of other variations in between). We don’t really need scientists to tell us that when it rains, water collects in...

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