Photo Credit: Max Anderson

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 organizations together to clean up and protect our national treasure.

And I am excited to be starting at such a remarkable time of year. Spring is a magical time in the Mississippi River region. Thousands of birds migrate from Mexico and Central America along what is known as the Mississippi Flyway—a migration route that follows the Mississippi River (and is part of the longest migration route for migrating birds in the western hemisphere!). An astounding sixty percent of all North American birds (326 species) use the Mississippi River basin as a flyway or nesting area. Pretty incredible!

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated migratory birds is the hummingbird. Here in the Mississippi River region, Ruby-throated hummingbirds bring great joy to birdwatchers and nature lovers after a long winter’s absence.

Photo Credit: Matt Tillett

To view stunning photos of hummingbirds and learn more about their migration and nesting behavior, check out our Return of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird blog.

As hundreds of birds migrate to their nesting habitats across the region, what actions can River Citizens take to help?

One really important thing we can do is choose native plants in our yards.

Native plants provide better food sources and habitat for birds and other wildlife than exotic plants. They can also prevent invasive species from spreading and taking over. Native plants are better adapted to climate and soils and can help prevent flooding. The National Wildlife Federationprovides more detailed information about the importance of landscaping with native plants and includes information on the types of plants that are native to various regions in the U.S.

A healthy Mississippi River is just as important for humans, too. Did you know that the River provides drinking water for 18 million people? Luckily, making simple changes in our lives can improve the River. Whether choosing native plants for our yards, spreading word about the 1 Mississippi campaign, picking up garbage and pet waste, or connecting with the River, everything we do can make a difference.

For information about the 1 Mississippi campaign and to learn about events happening in your region, please visit the 1 Mississippi website.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you, River Citizens, for all that you do to help make the Mississippi River region a healthier place for all!

 Brooke Thurau, 1 Mississippi Campaign Coordinator

Why are you a River Citizen?
“I’m a river citizen because the Mississippi River is such an important part of our story – past, present and future. It moves our goods, it feeds our fields and it captures our imaginations. I believe that we should do everything we can to protect this national treasure from environmental degradation. Not only does this mean effective legislation and regulation but also everyday interaction, since that is the best way to build appreciation. The 1Mississippi campaign is all about ensuring that the river continues to be a healthy, viable body of water far into our future, so that we can continue to enjoy the recreational, economic and ecological benefits it provides. I am proud to be a part of that effort.”
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