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From Minnesota's Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, from Old Faithful Yellowstone National Park to St. Louis, From Pittsburgh to Cairo, the Mississippi River flows through the American landscape and American life. The Greater Mississippi River Valley is the source of drinking water for 66 million people, a habitat for wildlife, the backbone of our economy and gave birth to Jazz, Bluesgrass, Blues & Country Music, (later "the Blues had a baby and they named it Rock & Roll!") Connecting 31 states via its tributaries, it's easy to feel that the River doesn’t "belong" to anyone, yet at the same time its broad reach makes it everyone’s; it unites us as a people and we rely on it as a resource.

We live in many different states but we are without a doubt: 1 people, 1 biota and 1 Mississippi.

Today, the mighty Mississippi River is in trouble. Pollution from untreated sewage, farms and factories along with weak enforcement of water laws has caused our great River to decline. Because of its vast tributary system, you don't have to live on the River to have a big impact on the River. The Mississippi River is a part of us and our communities and its poor health impacts us all.

But we can help by making simple changes in our lives and standing up for the River. Become a River Citizen today and learn how.

1Mississippi

Southern Campaign

Quapaw Canoe Company

& Lower Mississippi River Riverkeeper Paul Orr have agreed to lead the 2011 1Mississippi Southern Region Campaign

Will you help us? Paul and I are determined to locate 1,000 Americans who will agree to take care of their river and become a River Citizen. You might see us this year at regional events like Louisiana Earth Day, the Sunflower River Festival or the King Biscuit Festival (see complete schedule below).

What is a River Citizen? You don’t have to live on the Mississippi or any of its drainages to become a river citizen. You only have to be a US citizen and then agree to 1) Volunteer on your River, 2) Get to Know your River, 3) Reduce Fertilizers & Pesticides, 4) Support Sustainable Agriculture, 5) Protect your Local Wetlands and 7) Vote. Easy huh? You are probably already doing half of these, and the other half would be a simple commitment.

Follow this link and Become a River Citizen Today!

(Please let them know you heard it from us!)

There is no charge, and no strings attached. You will receive a free stainless steel waterbottle (while supplies last). Quapaw Canoe Company will automatically sign up anyone involved in its river activities because you are already a river citizen anyway.

10% Discount on Guiding Fees with Quapaw Canoe Company: Next time you come out with us any River Citizen will receive a 10% Discount on any guided trip we offer in the greater basin of the Lower Mississippi River.

I have committed myself to this campaign because year after year in the past 30 years of paddling the river I have been witnessing a decline in water quality and neglect of its wild places. I am seeing increasing evidence of the nutrient overload that is creating the Gulf’s Dead Zone. I swim in these waters, and my drinking water comes from this aquifer. Mine and 66 million other people (in the greater valley). If we don’t join together and take care of our lifeblood the mother Mississippi this degradation will continue.

I never ask anyone reading this dispatch for much, but for the first time in six years I am asking you to do one thing: to follow this link and Become a River Citizen Today!

March is Leave No Trace Month

for Quapaw Canoe Company

Photos from recent LNT Trainer Course in Helena:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=1294900839&aid=2077407

Introducing Leave No Trace Principals to:

-Quapaw Canoe Company Expeditions

-The Lower Mississippi Water Trail

-The Water Trails of the State of Mississippi

Check out blog about the course:

http://leavenotracecommunity.blogspot.com/2011/03/quapaw-canoe-company-trainer-course.html

Barefoot Workshops

February 2011

Chandler Griffin and his creative team have been producing 2-week long documentary film-making workshops in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. As usual river-related stories abound! See below for this year’s productions from Chandler's students. And go to www.barefootworkshops.org for more info about the next workshop in September 2011.

Robin Whitfield: A Painter's Passage:

www.vimeo.com/20713247

Watercolorist, Robin Whitfield, uses the Mississippi bayous as her studio. Painting from her kayak, she explores both the natural and the metaphysical landscape and seeks to find balance in both.

River Don't Come Callin':

www.vimeo.com/20714681

The adventures of Bobby Reed, lord of the levee and protector of the Delta.

A Joyous Racket

www.vimeo.com/20709010

A teacher’s journey through musical education with the help of a gifted student.

Plant-a-Wish

Thursday, April 14th -- Helena Tree Planting

(Buck Island, Mississippi River)

Saturday, April 16th -- Clarksdale Tree Planting (Sunflower River during Juke Joint Festival)

Quapaw Canoe Company will be hosting Plant-a-Wish in April.

Plant-a-Wish gathers local communities to participate in a ritual of writing wishes on scraps of paper and plant them with the trees. This simple act is having a profound effect on people who are now feeling a little more connected to the local habitats they call home. We have already planted historic wish trees in 25 states. We will soon be traveling across 18 states in the southern U.S. www.plantawish.org


Our goal is to plant trees in all 50 U.S. States.

Our mission is to increase the number of people planting Native trees in neighborhoods everywhere. The tree that we all plant together must be indigenous to the area.

1Mississippi

Southern Campaign

Calendar of Events

2011

January

Mississippi River Network Meeting in St. Louis

Mississippi Water Trails: Coordination Meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson

Bill Luckett Campaign for Governor of Mississippi

February

Friends of the Sunflower River (Clarksdale, Mississippi). All month events in celebration, education and advocacy concerning the Sunflower River & its tributaries.

March

5-6 Leave No Trace Trainer Course (Helena, Arkansas)

20 EarthFest (New Orleans)

13-28 Mississippi 440

Running the length of the State of Mississippi 440 miles from Mud Island Memphis to Natchez Under the Hill, take out at Angola, Louisiana.

April

3 Old Algiers RiverFest (New Orleans)

9 Nature-Fest (Jackson, Mississippi)

14 Plant-a-Wish Helena Tree Planting

(Buck Island, Mississippi River) Everyone invited! Tree Planting on Buck Island. Plant-a-Wish is traveling to all 50 states to plant dreams & trees! They work with local communities to participate in a ritual of writing wishes on scraps of paper and plant them with the indigenous trees. This simple act is having a profound effect on people who are now feeling a little more connected to the local habitats they call home. They have already planted historic wish trees in 25 states. www.plantawish.org

16 Plant-a-Wish Clarksdale Tree Planting (Sunflower River during Juke Joint Festival) Everyone invited! Tree Planting on the banks of the Sunflower River during Juke Joint Festival! Plant-a-Wish is traveling to all 50 states to plant dreams & trees! They work with local communities to participate in a ritual of writing wishes on scraps of paper and plant them with the indigenous trees. This simple act is having a profound effect on people who are now feeling a little more connected to the local habitats they call home. They have already planted historic wish trees in 25 states. www.plantawish.org

14-17 Juke Joint Festival

Live blues music. Watercolor workshops & live carving demonstration. Canoeing and kayaking on the Sunflower River. Introducing Stand Up Paddleboards to the Sunflower! Workshops and Rentals. Guided Adventures on the Mississippi River. Full Moon Float Sunday.

12-26 St. Louis Circumnavigation

Part II: Complete Circumnavigation of greater St. Louis with Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures. Done in service of the students of St. Ann’s of Normandy and the rivers of Mid-America!

(Coordination with 1Mississippi Missouri/Illinois Region)

Spring Birding Weekend (Vicksburg, Mississippi)

Robin Whitfield Exhibition (Clarksdale, Mississippi)

Opening of Exhibition of paintings by renowned Mississippi kayaker-artist Robin Whitfield.

17 Louisiana Earth Day (Baton Rouge)

17 Tunica Rivergate Festival (Tunica, Mississippi)

May

7 Memphis Canoe & Kayak Race Biggest Canoe & Kayak Race in the Southeastern United States.

(Coordination with 1Mississippi Tennessee/Arkansas Region)

7 Crossroads Blues & heritage Festival (Rosedale, Mississippi)

27-30 Yoga Retreat

On remote Mississippi River Island in conjunction with Delta Yoga.

28 Splash Bash (New Iberia, Louisiana)

June

17 - 19 Bear Dance Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice Celebration with Cherokee Bear Dancers on remote Mississippi River Island

Artist’s Retreat (Clarksdale, Mississippi)

4 Mother’s Best Festival (Helena Arkansas)

(Coordination with 1Mississippi Tennessee/Arkansas Region)

August

5-7 Sunflower River Festival (Clarksdale, Mississippi)

The Mississippi River Nature Festival (Vicksburg, Mississippi)

September

16-18 Bear Dance Autumnal Equinox

Autumnal Equinox Celebration with Cherokee Bear Dancers on remote Mississippi River Island

Yoga Retreat

Yoga Retreat with Delta Yoga

October

Tour de Teche (Bayou Teche, Louisiana)

8 Phatwater Challenge (Natchez, Mississippi)

6-9 King Biscuit Blues Festival (Helena Arkansas)

(Coordination with 1Mississippi Tennessee/Arkansas Region)

Romp on the River (Tunica, Mississippi)

Tunica Riverpark Museum Community Eco Festival

November

Mississippi 440

Running the length of the State of Mississippi 440 miles from Mud Island Memphis to Natchez Under the Hill, take out at Angola, Louisiana.

December

Clarksdale Christmas Parade 1Mississippi River float and handouts during annual Christmas Parade

Helena Christmas Parade 1Mississippi River float and handouts during annual Christmas Parade