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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 369

798: Match the Raft!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Advance Note: Tonight! Thurs, Nov 17th
5pm at MSU - Mississippi State University:
Nutrients in the Mississippi River and Hypoxia in the Gulf:
Trends, Actions, Next Steps

This Weekend: Sat Nov 19th:

Recycled Mississippi:
National Recycling Day Celebration!

10am-4pm Quapaw Canoe Company, Clarksdale, MS

Our goal is to “798: Match the Raft!”

Tour IOCO: Recycled Mississippi raft made out of 798 bottles that successfully journeyed down the Mississippi this summer! We want to collect 798 bottles on the day of the event, the same number found in IOCO: Recycled Mississippi. (see below for more details).

798: Match the Raft!

Sat Nov 19th: Recycled Mississippi: National Recycling Day Celebration 3rd & Sunflower at Quapaw Canoe Company in downtown Clarksdale, featuring IOCO the Recycled Mississippi raft! Come Celebrate Recycle Day Saturday, November 19th from 10 AM to 4 PM at Quapaw Canoe Company. Bring your plastic 1s and 2s bottles and cans for the recycling bin. Tour IOCO: Recycled Mississippi raft made out of 798 bottles that successfully journeyed down the Mississippi this summer! Our goal is to “798: Match the Raft!” We want to collect 798 bottles on the day of the event, the same number found in IOCO: Recycled Mississippi. In addition, pick up some cool recycling swag. Bring your kids. Family friendly. Bring your friends. You and your friends and family will learn more about recycling and keeping our rivers clean. For more information contact Marc Taylor/Recycling Manager 503-998-3476; Quapaw secretary Lena von Machui 662-313-6220; 1 Mississippi leader Mark River 662-902-1885

If you haven’t yet seen, be sure to check out the:

Tennessee Rivers Photo Gallery:

Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Nashville Tennessean:

Thursday, Nov 17, 2016

Nutrients in the Mississippi River and Hypoxia in the Gulf: Trends, Actions, Next Steps

Dr. David H. Moreau

“It’s Sedimentary, Watson!”

The MSU Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society will be hosting Dr. David H. Moreau. He will be presenting a talk on "Nutrients in the Mississippi River and Hypoxia in the Gulf: Trends, Actions, Next Steps" on THURSDAY at 5PM in McCain 190. You are cordially invited to his talk.

Dr. Moreau, a Mississippi State University Alumni, is a Research Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina. He has been at UNC since 1968, having served as professor of City and Regional Planning and also Environmental Science and Engineering. His administrative appointments included Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of his home department, and chair of the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology. He also served as Director of the Water Resources Research Institute of the UNC system. His service to the North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources includes eight years on the Sediment Control Commission and 19 years on the Environmental Management Commission, 16 years as chair. At the national level, Dave has served on numerous committees of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, including Chair of the Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean Water Act: Scientific, Modeling, and Technical Aspects of Nutrient Pollutant Load Allocation and Implementation.

Sign Petition: Threat to Memphis Sands Aquifer:

The below received from friends in Memphis:

“The TVA proposal to use the Memphis Sands water is lazy and short sighted. Yes it will cost a tad bit more to use grey water (water from the layer below the Mississippi river) But the cost is minor, the long term benefits to future generations are obvious. It seems silly to use the finite resource of the Memphis sands for this industrial purpose. I just signed the petition "Stop the Tennessee Valley Authority From Harming Shelby County's Drinking Water!." Here is the link if you are inclined to join me After you've signed the petition, please take a moment to share it with others. If you want more info, here is a link to the Facebook group

Thank you!

Upcoming Events:

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! We would have been able to recover without your support! Open House with tours of the renovation. Live music, bonfire, food and drink. Starts at sunset (approx 5pm) and lasts until.

Little Acts of Kindness:

Why We Shut Down Last Week After The Election

Last week we shut down and took three days off as days of mourning — mourning for our country, our mother earth, ourselves. We closed doors Wednesday after the election and used the remainder of the week for recovery, reflection, prayer -- all in river time. The super moon helped me recover my balance. I was physically sickened by the whole campaign experience and had to get away for quiet reflection. I found myself foundering for ways to shield my 9 year-old daughter from the atrocious rhetoric and images being flung around. We found peace on the river by the light of the biggest & brightest moon since 1948, but we had to return to shore. And that’s where the difficulty begins. (Sounds like Huck & Jim, doesn’t it?) What an awful campaign season. Traditional American folk songs like Momma Don't ‘Low no Mean Talking Around Here and This Train Don’t Carry No Liars, This Train are still playing in my head. I know my own mother wouldn’t have allowed any of that in her household.

Amongst many other feelings, here’s what I was left with that might be worth sharing: why was enviro-economics left out of the conversation during the presidential campaign? Global warming could be the greatest single long-term threat to our well-being, our health, our safety & security, our agriculture, our industry, our society. We are starting to relocate communities hit by rising oceans (notably on Grand Isle, LA). New Orleans, Miami, New York, DC, and millions of people in other towns & cities along our coastlines are gravely in danger. And yet it was not seriously considered by either major party candidate. Our president-elect has said that he will dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, the Paris Climate Change Agreement (which commits more than 190 countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide), and the Waters of the United States Rule intended to protect our waterways and wetlands. Oh yeah, and global warming is a hoax invented by China. A lot to be alarmed and ashamed of from the 2016 presidential campaign. But for us the most disheartening aspect of the entire campaign season was the blindness toward mother earth — the rivers, the mountains, the oceans, the forests, our fellow creatures. We all depend on each other. Each part is as important as each other for the healthy functioning of all.

My blues mentor Johnnie Billington “Mr. Johnnie” repeatedly told his apprentices: "you gotta take a step backwards before you can forward again." Mr. Johnnie was a sage of sorts. He saw a lot of things in his long life. He used to tell me that things were bad… and they're gonna get worse. But he also said that sometimes you got to go low before you can rise again. Mr. Johnnie was born in 1935. He picked cotton as a kid. He was on the front lines of some very difficult times in our country: sharecropping, the great black migration, and the civil rights era. But he outlived it all, and died peacefully in 2013, before things got really seem to be getting bad again, as they have in this election season.

Now we have to carry Mr. Johnnie’s teaching forward with the hope that things will eventually turn around for our earth. He named his last place of residence, his pecan orchard in Lambert, “the Health & Happiness Ranch.” (or the H&H Ranch for short). And that’s what we strive for ultimately in everything we do on the Lower Mississippi. H&H. Health & Happiness. Experience on the river makes both of those come to life. Our health depends on the health of the river. Our happiness depends on the happiness of mother earth. “It’s all about love,” Mr. Johnnie said. And when it comes down to it, that’s what we’re about also. Love of the river. Love of our community. Love of our nation. Love of the earth. It’s all about love.

To paraphrase something Pope Francis recently said: “it is the little acts of kindness that are the stitches in the big tapestry that bind us all together.” This week would be a good time to start practicing little acts of kindness in the healing of ourselves, our nation, our earth.

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:

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

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.