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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 365

Walk Far, Walk Together

Monday Oct 31, 2016

Clarksdale, MS — Helena, AR — Memphis, TN

This issue of the LMRD is dedicated to

the Amazing River Nurse, Lou Moore, 1933-2016

(keep reading below for stories of this amazing river rat)

All-Hallow’s Eve

Tonight is All-Hallow’s Eve and the moon is at apogee, its furthest swing away from the earth. In 2 weeks the “Super” full moon will be at perigee, and the closest (and biggest) its been since 1948! We have open seats in the big canoe if you care to join us in the Mississippi Delta for some full moon paddling on the night of this spectacular event.

Upcoming Events:

Sat Nov 12th Super Moon Night Paddle in the Big Canoes. Meet at 2pm at Quapaw Canoe Company and board our shuttle bound for the muddy banks of the Mississippi River. Paddle to remote sandbar island for supper and moonrise. Paddle downstream to next landing by the silvery light of the Super Moon. 18 miles total. Bonfire and Potluck. Email john@island63.com for more details and/or reservation.

Sat Nov 19th: National Recycling Day Celebration 3rd & Sunflower at Quapaw Canoe Company in downtown Clarksdale, featuring food, fun, live music and IOCO the Recycled Mississippi raft!

Sat Dec 17th: Quapaw Canoe Company “We Survived the Flood” and annual Winter Solstice Celebration! Celebrating the shortest day of the year — and also celebrating our successful recovery from the 2016 Sunflower River Flood. A big thank you to all who pitched in and helped out! Open House with tours of the renovation. Live music, bonfire, food and drink. Starts at sunset (approx 5pm) and lasts until.

TARA Talks IV

If you want to walk fast, walk alone

If you want to walk far, walk together

-Bob Swap, translating an African proverb

Why are the worlds oceans rising faster than predicted? What is the 800,000 year history of atmospheric carbon (CO2), and why are we now going off the charts? What is the “methane mega-fart?” Why is Grand Isle, LA, losing 0.4 inches a year? How long can we afford to re-locate Americans at $1 million each from marginal coastline communities? Why is China entering its 4th epoch, the “Eco-Civilization?” What is the Mississippi River “fluff?” What is “Green Chemistry?” What are the “Wild Miles” of the Lower Mississippi? Where is the most productive agricultural region in the world, and why are rising sea levels threatening access to it?

Mark River and I presented the Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Mississippi River at TARA Talks IV on the same morning panel as retired USACE commander Duke DeLuca, Dr. Robert Correll, John Milner, Dr. Robert J. Swap, WILD Foundation prez Vance Martin, and our friend Dr. Reid Bishop of Belhaven University. Climate expert John Englander signed copies of his best-seller High Tide on Main Street; Alaskan guide, biologist, and pilot extraordinaire Michael McBride copies of The Last Wilderness. Wild men Peter McGuire and Paul Hartfield sparred in karate, in between sharing their life’s work and passions.

Sobering and electrifying is the best way to describe it. TARA Talks IV presenters can be seen at http://www.taratalks2016.com/speakersall.html. Papers and presentations will soon be made available on the taratalks2016.com website. More description forthcoming in upcoming issues of the LMRD — the Lower Mississippi River Dispatch. Stay tuned!

Mapping a Modern Mississippi

Adam Elliott, Natchez Outpost of Quapaw Canoe Company featured in Mississippi Museum of Art “Mapping a Modern Mississippi” video series. The story begins thus: “One day Adam Elliot had a friend drop him off in Minnesota to kayak the entire length of the Mississippi River. Now, he owns a small river guiding service, an outpost of the Quapaw Canoe Company, based in Natchez, Mississippi.”

http://www.msmuseumart.org/index.php/blog/entry/adam-elliot-mapping-a-modern-ms

Venturing with Purpose: WIU Alumni Take Canoe the Length of the Mississippi for Conservation Awareness and Adventure

Haley & Cody: Amongst the Current

(Helping support the Quapaw Canoe Company Flood Recovery)

In late August, Brasile, who finished her RPTA degree in December 2015, and Presny, who finished up his degree the May before, embarked upon what they call "Amongst the Current," a canoe trip down the length of the Mississippi. While they both admit the long days of paddling are a part of "another adventure" together, the enterprising pair has a method to his/her madness of navigating the Mississippi River this fall—a time when the swift waterway has been at flood stage in some of the regions through which it runs.

Not only are they meeting and working with members of the Mississippi River network—a group of organizations whose members work together to preserve the Ol' Muddy— along their way, they are raising money to support the Quapaw Canoe Company. Based in Clarksdale (MS), the Quapaw is a small outfit that offers Lower Mississippi paddling experiences to at-risk youth groups, churches, schools, scout troops and anyone who wishes to experience the wondrous beauty of the Mississippi River Valley.

"Last March, a slow moving storm passed over the Quapaw headquarters, dumping more than 17 inches of rain, which flooded the Sunflower River Basin, the area along the river the company's owners call home. The flooding left Quapaw headquarters under water and in need of reconstruction," explained Brasile and Presny when they landed in Moline October 3. "With our Amongst the Current project, we are working in partnership to support this mission-driven business. They are dedicated to exploring and sharing the beauty and wildness of the Lower Mississippi River. They bring the powerful benefits of canoeing and team building to youth at-risk groups from Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri."

Through their website, AmongsttheCurrent.com, Brasile and Presny are collecting donations for the Quapaw Canoe Company until they reach Clarksdale.

(The above from Western Illinois University newsletter. Please go to http://www.wiu.edu/news/newsrelease.php?release_id=13987 for full story and photos)

Another River Myth Debunked

React365 recently published a scary photo and story that has been circulating around FB and other social media, supposedly sighting a pair of great white sharks in the Mississippi River near St. Louis. This is a joke that's not too funny to us working to protect and promote the river for access and public recreation.

Snopes.com quickly debunked this misleading story by identifying the photo from a 2008 Twitter posting of bull sharks in the Sirena River of Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. But not before the posting was shared 57,952 times.

The wise adage “don’t believe everything you read” has never been more true than in the internet age. React365 is one of the many web sites that allows people to create fake (but convincing-looking) news in order to, in its own words, "prank" others. In its own words on its main page: “Create your false news and prank your friends. Share them on social networks! What are you waiting for?”

If you see something on the internet that is too amazing or too crazy to be true, it probably is not true. Google it and research sources before sharing. One thing we don’t need in our increasingly sensitive world is more falsehoods. Like all natural systems, our civilization operates best with diversity, efficiency, and the sharing of accurate information.

Lou Moore, 1933-2016

Us Mighty Quapaws raise our paddles in honor of Lou Moore, 1933-2016. This issue of the LMRD is dedicated to her long and colorful life!

I was privileged to paddle on the Mississippi River in canoes with "Miss Lou" (as Wesley Jefferson the Mississippi Junebug used to call her), on many different occasions ranging across the entire length of the Mississippi (440 miles) from Memphis to Natchez, on many different expeditions… so many I have forgotten exactly the number, and all the places we paddled. What a joy Miss Lou was in the canoe! Lou radiated life in all its best expressions, with humor, scientific curiosity, and great love. Everyone was happier when she was around. She was one of the smallest adult paddlers I've ever met, but one of the biggest personalities! Everything she shared seemed to be delivered deftly with a twinkle in her eye. I learned a lot from her about birds and geology, and life as a woman growing up in the South, and many other topics. I was also the brunt of many of her pranks. When the mood turned serious, Lou seemed to become more playful — and irreverent. She never seemed to hesitate when the mood struck her. If she had something to say, it would bubble out of her. She had no respect for society's "norms" but complete respect for compassion, the heart, and the comedy of life. I also saw her sadness. I was with her when she received the news of her son's passing, which I am sure this is the most difficult moment for any parent. She was a non-stop paddler, and non-stop story-teller, and loved to make jokes about other people in the canoe... if you stopped paddling she would send a bottle of sunscreen up to your position in the canoe to put on your paddle for danger of UV “overexposure…” Regardless of the amount of food we packed for any given trip, she always brought more — more peanuts, more candy, more crackers, more chips, more, more, more. And not only more snacks, but she always arrived with bags full of bubble-makers, party favors, masks, art supplies, and games. I think I still have several gallons of bubble soap left behind from previous trips. One year she (and her troupe of what we came to call "the Amazing River Nurses”) arrived with Viking helmets for everyone to wear! Her last name Moore is entirely appropriate to her incredible effusive generosity which exploded at times around campfires and on the sandbars of the Mississippi River. Whatever space we had in the canoe was filled with pieces of driftwood, rocks, fossils, plastic crates, and whatever goodies she discovered on the sprawling beaches of the big river, most of which we would have to pack in our already overloaded canoes, and she would bring home with her — for what purpose, I was never entirely certain of. We will miss you, Miss Lou! But we will also never forget you! Miss Lou was bigger than life, and many stories will survive through the years, at the very least amongst us river guides, the Mighty Quapaws, of the Mississippi River. Here’s to you, Miss Lou, we raise our paddles in special honor to all you brought and shared with us, the river, and all its creatures, and everyone around you. You brought joy to this world. Many blessings on your new journey from the Mighty Quapaws!

RIP Lou Moore

1933-2016

Lou Adelaide Frissell Moore, a wonderful, joyous human being, died at age 83 at her home in Madison , Mississippi, on October 19, 2016. She is survived by her husband, William Sebastian Moore, and her children Lynn Adelaide Campbell, Bowman Stirling Tighe, Jr., Thomas Bryant Moore and Nathan Frissell Moore and six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. David Howard Moore, her son, predeceased her in 2011.

She was a nurse educator who retired from University of Mississippi Medical Center after twenty-five years. She loved working part-time at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Jackson as a psychiatric nurse. She was an avid canoeist and relished whitewater canoeing. At the age of 78, she canoed down the Mississippi River from Clarksdale to Vicksburg with friends. She enjoyed going to the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana with a small group of friends who stayed overnight on a small houseboat on the swamp. She also volunteered at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. She was a student of life who was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her.

She was an active member of Wells United Methodist Church where a memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 23, 2016. Visitation will be at Wells from 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. with the memorial service at Wells following visitation.

In lieu of flowers, Lou, who loved animals and rescued many, would have appreciated donations to CARA, a no-kill animal shelter. http://carams.org/.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners Break Ground on Theodore Roosevelt Visitor Center

Onward, Miss. – Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and U.S. Senator Thad Cochran joined David Viker of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Mississippi representatives and other partners to break ground for a 5,000 square-foot Theodore Roosevelt Visitor Center. The future visitor center will be located at the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge.

The visitor center will recognize President Roosevelt’s conservation legacy and the importance of the Mississippi Delta’s diverse wildlife and natural resources. It will honor President Roosevelt’s famous bear hunt of 1902. President Roosevelt teamed up with freed slave and renowned hunter Holt Collier in pursuit of Louisiana black bear. The president’s refusal to kill a restrained male bear during the hunt was widely publicized at the time and resulted in the creation of a stuffed toy known today as the teddy bear. The future visitor center is located on property near the site of the 1902 hunt.

“Today’s groundbreaking marks the culmination of more than a decade of collaboration and cooperation between the Service and its partners to ensure President Roosevelt’s conservation legacy endures,” said Viker, the Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System chief in the Southeast Region. “The Theodore Roosevelt Visitor Center is becoming a reality because of the unwavering commitment of Senator Cochran, Wildlife Mississippi, and numerous other supporters.”

Soon after the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2004, Senator Cochran began championing a vision for an interpretive center to promote and educate visitors of the rich conservation history and wildlife diversity in the Mississippi Delta. The Senator was instrumental in securing $5.6 million for the planning, design, and construction of the future interpretive and educational visitor center.

“Mississippians embrace balanced efforts to preserve our best natural assets for enjoyment by generations to come,” said Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The Mississippi Delta region is home to many of America’s most important natural and culture assets. I look forward to the completion of the Theodore Roosevelt Visitor Center, and the many educational and economic opportunities it will bring to the Delta.”

The groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of construction. A marginal crop field near Onward will be the location of an interpretive and educational center with lifelike dioramas, interactive exhibits to educate and engage historic interpretations, state-of-the-art audio-visual productions and an educational classroom/auditorium.

For more than a decade, the Service searched for a suitable site in the Mississippi Delta for a visitor center. In 2015, the Service received a donation of six acres from Wildlife Mississippi for the future visitor center. Based in Stoneville, Wildlife Mississippi is a nonprofit conservation organization that works statewide on wildlife habitat conservation, conservation policy and education, and outdoor recreation.

“This visitor center will highlight the most famous hunt on American soil and the world’s most famous toy, the teddy bear,” said James L. Cummins, Wildlife Mississippi’s executive director. “More importantly, it will recognize the foundational system of public land conservation established by President Roosevelt, one that is thriving today in the Mississippi Delta. Wildlife Mississippi is pleased to have donated the land for this center and appreciates Senator Cochran, Congressman Thompson and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their work in making this a reality.”

The Theodore Roosevelt Visitor Center will be a destination on the Blues Highway, the legendary route along the Mississippi River that celebrates the rich history and culture of the Mississippi Delta. The visitor center represents one of the most significant investments in tourism infrastructure across the Delta region south of Greenville, Mississippi, in recent memory. The refuge expects 10,000 visitors annually when it opens in 2018.

“I am delighted the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge is growing with the addition of a visitor center,” Governor Bryant said. “President Roosevelt loved the outdoors. This center will be the perfect way to honor his legacy, highlight his historic hunt in Mississippi and boost tourism in the South Delta. I thank everyone involved for making this project a reality.”

Simon Roosevelt, President Roosevelt’s great-great grandson, and Ann Marie Parker, Holt Collier’s great-niece, participated in today’s groundbreaking as well.

“Theodore Roosevelt certainly was delighted that his visit here in 1902 led to the creation of the first toy bear, beloved by so many children ever since. And certainly he was proud that the publicity surrounding his decision not to shoot the bear during his hunt could serve as a strong and public example of the exercise of what has come to be known as Fair Chase Hunting,” said Simon Roosevelt, great-great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt. “He would be honored that the place of this now famous hunt - and the only National Wildlife Refuge to bear his name - should have both an important role in the recovery of the Louisiana black bear and the continuation of the best hunting tradition. How excellent that we break ground today on the Theodore Roosevelt Visitor Center, a place to educate present and future generations of these good things and highlight the life of his friend Holt Collier.”

“I have been following this effort since the Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge was dedicated over ten years ago,” said Anne Marie Parker, the great-niece of Holt Collier. “I thank all of those involved for their continued perseverance to make this visitor center a reality. There are a lot of people who have done good things in and for Mississippi. We need to continue to highlight them and their efforts, and this Center will help do that.”

The groundbreaking for this visitor center comes on the heels of the removal of the Louisiana black bear, the animal at the center of the celebrated 1902 hunt, from the endangered species list earlier this year. Like the partnership that will make the visitor center a reality, the Louisiana black bear’s recovery resulted from decades of conservation work by a partnership of federal and state agencies, private landowners, and conservation organizations.

The visitor center will be a gateway for promoting and interpreting the conservation and management of more than 230,000 acres of federal and state-owned public lands within the Mississippi Delta. The Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge was established for conservation purposes and is the only national wildlife refuge named for a U.S. president. The Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2004 for the conservation, maintenance, and management of wildlife and was the first national wildlife refuge named for an African American. These public lands are part of a complex of seven national wildlife refuges comprising more than 86,000 acres in the heart of the Mississippi Delta.

For more information about Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge and the future visitor center, visit www.fws.gov/southeast or www.fws.gov/refuge/Theodore_Roosevelt/.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.




The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of

The Lower Mississippi River Foundation




Our Projects:

Rivergator: 1Million words describing the Lower Mississippi River:

www.rivergator.org

Wild Miles: 71% of the Lower Miss is wild according to river rats. Will it stay that way?

www.wildmiles.org

Our Friends:

Quapaw Canoe Company: custom-guided wilderness expeditions on the biggest and wildest river in North America, in our hand crafted cypress strip voyageur canoes. Now with outposts in Memphis, Vicksburg, Helena and Natchez. Home base: Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Big Muddy Adventures: custom-guided adventures on the Missouri, Mississippi, Meramec and Illinois -- covering the Grand Central Station of America's rivers from home base St. Louis.