1 Mississippi: River Citizen 2019 Highlights

Started in 2009, 1 Mississippi is a growing national movement of nearly 20,000 River Citizens- everyday people dedicated to protecting the River by speaking up on its behalf and caring for it in simple ways that make a big difference. From armchairs to wading boots, River Citizens are people the River can count on.

Before we turn the page into a new decade on the Mississippi River, let’s take a look back at all that we accomplished together as River Citizens in 2019!

Highlights of the 1 Mississippi River Citizen program in 2019. Background image of the Mississippi River near Guttenberg, Iowa. Photo credit Avi Richards on Unsplash.


1,985 people became River Citizens in 2019; nears 20,000 total River Citizens!

This past year, 1,985 more people from up and down the Mississippi (and across the country) signed-up as River Citizens and joined the community that is united to take action for the wellbeing of our nation’s iconic river – the Mississippi. 

The River Citizen community is now nearly 20,000 people strong and we are postured to leave a legacy of guardianship and caregiving for the River and for the generations to come. Photo credit Ben White via UnSplash.

87,000+ people educated on the importance of floodplains/wetlands; proven solutions to reduce nutrient pollution

Clean and safe water is a priority of 1 MississippiToday, the water which flows through the Mississippi River faces pollution threats from various sources.

One of the greatest pollution threats is from human activities that add excess amounts of nutrients, namely nitrogen and phosphorus, into the waterways. Sources of nutrient pollution include chemically intensive agricultural practices, stormwater drainage, and sewage treatment plants. Excess nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Watershed result in water quality threats like harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in local water bodies, along the entire River, and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Proven solutions to reduce nutrient pollution exist! Currently, people are working collectively across the watershed to improve water quality. Reconnecting rivers with their floodplain provides multiple benefits including water filtration.

Mississippi River Carrying Sediment Creating Algal Bloom in the Gulf of Mexico. Image shot 2007. Source: NASA/Landsat/Phil Degginger / Alamy Stock Photo.

River Citizens took 1,317 advocacy actions

Through two petitions (which are still live and can be found in the Action Center) and other advocacy opportunities like Letters to Legislators; River Citizen stood up for the people, land, water, and wildlife of the Mississippi River this year by taking 1,317 advocacy actions.

Thank you to all that participated! Pictured to the right is an example postcard used at the Letters to Legislators events, which provided advocacy channels for citizens to be heard!

People demonstrated they want more Mississippi River-related content!

1 Mississippi‘s social media channels ‘opened the floodgates’ in 2019 on providing Mississippi River-related content. It was a hit! In 2019, our contents’ reach on social media was 402,375! That’s a lot of Mississippi River in the social-spheres.

Special thanks to all who follow and actively engage with 1 Mississippi on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check us out on social media today!


1 Mississippi attended or hosted 100+ in-person River-focused events 

In 2019, we continued to expand our in-person engagement efforts. 1 Mississippi staff attended and/or hosted over 100 in-person River-focused events. Much of this was achieved through our Outreach Coordinator team which is currently staffed along the Mississippi in four locations: Minneapolis, MN; Dubuque, IA; Alton, IL; and Clarksdale, MS.

In 2020, we look to deepen the ways in which we collaborate with regional and local partners to help best serve the Mississippi River and the River Citizen community!


New Mississippi River-centric podcast launched in 2019 – May The River Be With You

Jump on board the big muddy with your guide Mark “River” Peoples and feel the powerful, storied currents of the Mighty Mississippi River pull at your feet and open your imagination. “May The River Be With You” focuses on how the largest river in North America influences and impacts our culture, from arts and education to ecology and commerce. In each episode, we discuss how the River affects us all in unexpected ways while also featuring music, poetry, tales and myths inspired by the river itself.

May The River Be With You podcast presented by the Quapaw Canoe Company with support from 1 Mississippi and the Coahoma Collective. Co-hosted by Mark River Peoples and Charles Coleman. Produced by Coop Cooper. Artwork, music, and narratives by Johnnie “Driftwood” Ruskey.

1 Mississippi supports two full-length Mississippi River expeditions in 2019

Maya Dizack became the youngest documented woman (20) and woman of color to solo kayak the Mississippi River. Along the way, Maya took daily water quality measurements and engaged with local River communities to share about citizen science. Read more about the project here, which also involved talented photographer, Michael McGuire. 

(And be sure to check out Maya’s May The River Be With You podcast episode – Microplastics).

Relay of Voices, spearheaded by artist/athlete Victoria Bradford Styrbicki  (who has Louisiana roots and currently resides in Minnesota), RAN the length of the Mississippi River. Additionally, “Relay” was a story-gathering endeavor with the team meeting up with locals all along the Mississippi. The stories gathered are compelling, and shed light on the mosaic that illustrates the myriad of ways people relate with the Mississippi River. Read more about Relay of Voices here.



Lastly, the www.1mississippi.org website revitalization is complete!

The revitalized www.1mississippi.org website is LIVE and designed to be accessible and ‘filled between the banks’ with Mississippi River related content – including simple advocacy actions, upcoming events and ways to get involved, and educational material on issues and opportunities facing the River – www.1mississippi.org serves to be a one-stop-shop for River Citizens!



Together, we are 1 Mississippi. Can the River count on you?



We hope you enjoyed reading the 2019 highlights from the 1 Mississippi program.

Make sure you are apart of the community by signing up to become a River Citizen today – it’s free!

Thank you!

-Michael Anderson, 1 Mississippi program manager



Become a

River Citizen

Yes! The River can count on me!

I am committed to protecting the Mississippi River and will take at least three actions to care for this valuable resource. Please keep me informed about actions I can take to protect the Mississippi River as a River Citizen:

Step 1

Become a River Citizen

Yes! The River can count on me!

I am committed to protecting the Mississippi River and will take at least three actions to care for this valuable resource. Please keep me informed about actions I can take to protect the Mississippi River as a River Citizen:


Step 2

Educate Yourself

One goal for 1 Mississippi is to educate the public on the urgent problems facing the River. We are supported by the Mississippi River Network, a group of organizations that are experts in various areas concerning the River. Each section below is intended to provide some basic knowledge about these important issues and links to experts who can provide more detailed information. 

Nutrient pollution

Importance of floodplains and wetlands

Farm bill conservation programs


Step 3

Take Action

There are many ways you can take action. We have a list of 10 actions you can take now, You can volunteer and you can check our action center in order to see what bigger projects we are working on. Here we give you the information you need to call your congressman or sign onto proposals. You can also check out our events calendar to see what events are happening in your area.

10 actions you can take now!

The Action Center

Events Calendar

River Citizens are people who want to clean up and protect America's greatest River. 

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