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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Tadpoles: The Frogs of Tomorrow

When I was a toddler, I would eat, sleep, and breathe dinosaurs; I wanted to see them in person.  They were extremely friendly and they all seemed to live in harmony with each other.   Soon after, I was exposed to a crashing reality: Jurassic Park.  After that, dinosaurs were frightening monsters and I had vivid, gruesome nightmares for years after, which ensured that my mother would not allow me to watch any more scary movies.  I was,...

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March 2016 Newsletter: Spring Into Action, River Citizens!

Photo Credit: Max Anderson Dear River Citizens, With much excitement, I would like to introduce myself as the new Campaign Coordinator for the 1 Mississippi campaign. I know River Citizens depend on a healthy Mississippi River for drinking water, jobs, solitude and recreation. As Campaign Coordinator, I will work with you, the caretakers of the River, to speak up for the River on its behalf. I will do whatever I can to bring people and...

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Return of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Here in the Mississippi River region, Ruby-throated hummingbirds bring great joy to birdwatchers and nature lovers after a long winter’s absence.     Upon returning to their North American breeding grounds from the south, many hummingbirds often make the 600-mile trip across the Gulf of Mexico in a single day. To prepare for this taxing journey, hummingbirds may double their weight, feeding on spiders, insects, flowers, and nectar....

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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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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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Splish, Splash, Let’s Give ‘Em a Bath – September Newsletter

Long ago we looked to the sky and dreamt of flying the way birds do; many of us still do. Birds play a large role in our imagination, from the mythological phoenix to the Looney Tunes Roadrunner. They inspire poetry such as Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” and cult horror classics like Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. There are even war stories featuring birds, like how birds warned the people of Rome of an imminent attack in 390 B.C. or how...

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