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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

October Newsletter – Who’s the Boss?

It’s Not “Just” Another Election Hello River Citizens, Some say next month’s election is just a Congressional election—like it is less important just because presidential candidates aren’t on the ballot. But the fact is Congress has an immense role in deciding how government will impact our lives. How much should the United States spend on the military, on national parks, on education, on managing the Mississippi River in a...

Read More

Don’t Talk About It – Be About It

If there was ever a man who has a mission, it’s Colton Cockrum, founder of the Memphis River Warriors – a community organization bringing new awareness to the litter problem in our beloved Mississippi River – one plastic bottle at a time. In our interview he says, “There’s something about that River that just puts its claws in me.”   Colton sings to the choir when he expresses his love for the River; but many of us are...

Read More