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 prevails over the man made structures, unleashing the destructive power of flood water, leaving destroyed homes and lost lives in it’s wake.
Major floods carry major amounts of water and it has to go somewhere.
As you can see on this old map taken from a book written in 1886 about the Civil War¹, the land adjacent to the River near the town of New Madrid was “overflowed” in it’s unadulterated state with River water.
These natural marshes, bayous and backwaters of the Mississippi River–like those in the New Madrid Floodway–are critically important wetlands for our safety, and also imperative to the health of wildlife along the River.
1 Mississippi is joining the Environmental Protection Agency during May to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands and calls on all Americans to take action to protect and restore wetlands during American Wetlands Month. #nationalwetlandsmonth
Stop the Levee
River Citizens – let’s answer the call. Right now, we are at risk of loosing the protection of 53,000 acres of wetlands in the New Madrid Floodway if a new levee is constructed. This misguided project would use an outrageous $165 million taxpayer dollars for the benefit of the few over the best interests of the many.
This project is not just a waste of money; it has serious environmental consequences. Building this new levee will eliminate the most important backwater fisheries habitat in the Middle Mississippi River, reduce crucial habitat for birds, deer and other wildlife and increase the risk of catastrophic flooding for dozens of river communities.
It is both the right and the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop this destructive boondoggle once and for all.
Use the letter provided or personalize it. Then, 1 Mississippi will send your letter to the EPA, to your Senators and also to the White House, to make sure your representatives are aware of the importance of this issue and encourage them to act in the public’s best interest.
Why are you a River Citizen?
“I am a River Citizen because I recognize that caring for the river is essential to our own health and well being. Water is our most important resource, and we must manage it better than we have been.
1 Mississippi puts its focus on common sense ways that we can protect our waterways.
Besides being beautiful and teeming with life, our backwaters and wetlands are crucial territory, and we need to protect what we have and restore as many wetlands as is feasible along our great river.”
~ Steven Marking,
Baritone Oprea Singer,
Producer of My Mighty Mississippi,
1. “abrahamlincolnba01newy” Abraham Lincoln and the battles of the Civil War. New York, N.Y. : The Century Co., 1886. Flicker Internet Archive Book Images. The Institute of Museum and Library Services through an Indiana State Library LSTA Grant 21 May 2015.