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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 278

Monday, Feb 23rd, 2015

From Terry Eastin: Mississippi River National Geographic Geotourism Project starting today at 1pm and ending tomorrow -- in Memphis.

Mississippi River National Geographic Geotourism Project February 23rd and 24th. Springhill Suites (Kress Ballroom) in downtown Memphis (85 West Court Drive).

Springhill Suites, Kress Ballroom

85 West Court Drive

Memphis, Tennessee

Monday, February 23rd, 1pm - 5pm

Tuesday, February 24th, 9am - 1pm

The project scope has been modified to include ALL of the Delta from Cairo, IL south to the GULF.

Now is the time to come and learn how to participate and to have your local "sense of place business, museum or recreation facility" identified as a National Geographic iconic Mississippi River site on the worldwide web. Each business that participates will be given a National Geographic sanctioned decal for their organization or recreational facility and have the ability to upload business information, photos, videos, and other information to encourage and enhance visitation in your area.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Interested businesses, nonprofit organizations, recreation site directors, local, federal and State agencies, tourism departments, and economic development staffs. There is no cost to participate!

PLEASE, help SHARE this invitation with any and all you know who may benefit from participation. The Mississippi River Parkway Commission is a partner in this project, along with the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Delta Regional Authority, major Convention and Visitor's Bureaus, and many towns and cities along the River.

For questions or more information, please contact Terry Eastin at or 479-236-0938.

Hope to see you all on February 23rd and 24th at the Springhill Suites (Kress Ballroom) in downtown Memphis! (85 West Court Drive)

Terry Eastin

E.D., Big River Strategic Initiative Gator Painting by John Ruskey.jpg

Helena to Greenville: This Map-Poster now available for sale:

Go to Rivergator website:

Love your River:

February is for Friends of the Sunflower River!

Y’all it's February, time to show our little river some extra special love! We are at the headwaters of the Sunflower River and it is up to us to prevent the negative effects of litter from flowing downstream. What is the best way to help our river? Let's kick it off by removing trash and debris on Valentine's Day. We will start the event at noon on February 14th behind Quapaw Canoe Company with a potluck and annual membership meeting. If you would like to join Friends of the Sunflower, there is an annual fee of $25. After the meeting and potluck, we will launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, or you can walk the banks searching for enemies of the environment. If paddling on the river, picking up trash, chatting with friends, and enjoying this community event is not enough to tempt you to participate. We will have possibly a historic river cleanup first, live music! That's right live music provided by Deak Harp and Carson Diersing. We're not sure if they have any love songs in their repertoire, but we expect they might have a blues tune or two.

Saturday, February 28th, 1-3pm. Sunflower Rver Cleanup. This cleanup will be done in true Quapaw fashion, downstream. Depending on water levels, we will launch from Friar's Point Road and take it to the trash all the way back to Quapaw. Meet time for this cleanup is 1 PM behind Quapaw Canoe Company. Every piece of trash picked up is a challenge for change.

When: February 28, 2015

Where: 291 Sunflower Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614

Time: 1 PM - 3 PM

Schedule of Events:

1-3 PM: Cleanup of the Sunflower. Bring gloves and trash bags and dress for the weather. Barn boots and wool socks are best for the sticky, stinky mud. Canoes or paddleboards provided with paddles and life jackets, or pick up trash from the riverbank.

TBA: Hushpuckena Expedition

Expedition down the strange Sunflower River tributary. The Hushpuckena was historically formed by the overflowing of De Soto Lake. Today it drains everything between the Mississippi River levee and the Sunflower River from Farrell to Shelby. Born of springs & runoff around Rena Lara, the Hushpuckena meanders under Hwy 1 downstream south through Walnut Grove, Alligator (via Annis Brake Bayou), Duncan, and then cuts East at Hushpuckena under Hwy 61 to join the Sunflower River in the wilds between Shelby & Parchman. The head of navigation of the Sunflower River was considered to be at this confluence, downstream of which the Sunflower becomes the “Big Sunflower.”

Vicksburg to New Orleans: This Map-Poster now available for sale:

Go to Rivergator website:

Atchafalaya Expedition

March 16-27th

Now filling seats in the big canoe for the March Atchafalaya Expedition, March 16-27th, Leave from Fort Adams, pass through the Old River Lock, confluence with the Red River, head down the Atchafalaya, the famed “River of Trees,” America’s Largest River-Swamp, lots of bayous and back channels to explore, annual songbird migration in full swing, three distinct biotas including bottomland hardwood forest, tupelo gum-cypress swamps, and ocean marshes, paddle to the Gulf of Mexico, investigate sediment accretion in Atchafalaya Delta and Wax Lake Outlet, where America’s mud is helping rebuild Louisiana and the coasts are getting bigger in the natural river delta process, take out in Morgan City. Comtact John Ruskey for more information.

Rivergator Expeditions you can join in 2015:

March 16-27, 2015: Atchafalaya River Expedition

From Three Rivers WMA to the Gulf of Mexico

159 miles of wild exploration through the 2 million acre "River of Trees" via Simmesport, Krotz Springs, Flat Lake and Morgan City with side trips down mysterious side channels and bayous, and fantastic birding, amphibians, and adventures along the way!

April 15-30, 2015: Rivergator Expedition:

Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico

225 miles downstream through the Chemical Corridor (AKA Cancer Alley) down the biggest inland harbor in the world, including Plaquemine, Morganza Floodway, Donaldsonville, Bonnet Carre Spillway, New Orleans, Algiers, Belle Chasse, Venice, Pilot-Town, Mile Zero, Head of Passes, Birdsfoot Delta, last camp will be a sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico! (Note: bring your haz mat suit and respirator, or we will supply). base map.jpg

St. Louis to Caruthersvlle: This Map-Poster now available for sale:

Go to Rivergator website:

October/November 2015:

Rivergator Completion Celebration Expedition:

St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico

1180 miles on the Middle and Lower Mississippi River! Start: Missouri River Confluence. End: salty waters of the Caribbean.

To enjoy the three previous installments (including photos) from 2014 Rivergator Expeditions, please go to:

Blind Faith in the Last Cold Light of the Day

Muddy Guitar String 1,000 Miles Long

Bittersweet Tinges in a Watery Wilderness poster.jpg

St. Louis to Gulf of Mexico: This Map-Poster now available for sale:

Go to Rivergator website:

The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of

The Lower Mississippi River Foundation