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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 370


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tonight!! Live Blues Extravaganza: starting at 7:45pm: Thanksgiving Eve Blues Party at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, MS — Fundraiser for the 2017 Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival featuring James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Josh “Razor Blade” Stewart, Big T, Heather Crosse: Heavy Suga and the Sweet Tones, Big Dave Dunavant, and special guests.

THANK YOU -- 833! You helped us recycle enough plastic bottles to build another raft! Our thanks to everyone who recycled plastic bottles last Saturday for our Recycled Mississippi: National Recycling Day Celebration. IOCO the Recycled Mississippi raft made out of is made out of 798 bottles — and successfully journeyed down the Mississippi this summer! Special thanks to Marc Taylor, recycling manager for the city of Clarksdale.


Recently we hosted the members of several educational expeditions coming down the Mississippi River. Lisa Pugh and Alyce Kuenzli SOURCE OF CONFIDENCE (SOC) started at the headwaters of the Missouri and are about to become the first women to paddle a canoe down the longest river system in North America (4th longest in the world!). Lisa and Alyce are inspiring young women along the way to be all they be -- and do all they can do! Jordan Hanssen OAR NORTHWEST (OAR) is leading a group of students from the University of Puget Sound in a rowboat expedition down the Mississippi River. They will share their expediton with thousands of kids with classroom visits, and are doing scientific studies along the way, as well as documenting the entre river with a high-tech Google camera. Keep reading below for more about these erstwhile paddlers and their educational missions!

Note: The Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide is one million words with maps and photos describing the Lower Mississippi River for Paddlers. If you are on a long distance expedition, or planning one for the future, you will want to visit the Rivergator. Great reading and mind blowing stories of the biggest and baddest river in North America.


The 2016 OAR Northwest Adventure: Mississippi River source to sea crew had the opportunity to visit Quapaw Canoe Cmpany in Helena, Arkansas and Clarksdale, Mississippi in November 2016, sample some music and wash the river off for a few days. OAR Northwest is a not for profit based in Seattle that puts human powered trips down the river and combines them with school visits that weave the learning of the river into the adventure and collect water samples. This year the team is continuing the longest water sampling transect of the Mississippi River for LSU and a plastics sampling transect for the University of Puget Sound. Follow along at OAR Northwest on all social media and

Adventure: Mississippi River (AMR) is the second iteration of OAR Northwest Education series flagship expedition, blending real-life adventure with technology to reach students both locally and beyond the Mississippi River watershed. AMR aims to inspire students to experience an adventure in their local environment, understand the potential environmental impacts of their actions, and engage the rich history and diversity of species along the Mississippi River and its immense watershed. The curriculum is designed around the research-based Adventure Learning approach and delivered direct to classrooms via the latest cloud-based technologies, enhanced with cultural and community connections to this important river.


Source of Confidence Expedition

2 Women. 4,000 Miles. A Source-to-Sea Expedition exploring the Source of Confidence on the 4th Longest River System in the World.

In May 2016 Lisa Pugh and Alyce Kuenzli embarked on an extraordinary expedition, canoeing 4,000 miles, source-to-sea, on the Jefferson, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers. Starting in Browers Spring, Montana and ending in the Gulf of Mexico, this is the fourth longest waterway system in the world.

During this expedition they deliver their unique confidence-building curriculum, through their educational website. Alyce and Lisa teach girls and women to build confidence, through positive risk taking. As educators and Outward Bound Instructors, they have over twenty years of combined experience facilitating this process and want to bring the concept to a larger audience of girls and women, using this expedition as a platform for exploring what confidence is and how you build confidence.

Source of Confidence is a new organization, committed to accomplishing three goals: 1) Become the first women to canoe the 4th longest river system in the world; 2) Deliver their unique confidence-building curriculum, via adventure learning models and in-person workshops; and 3) Create a documentary film that, through a series of individual and group interviews with girls and women of all ages and backgrounds, along with the story of the canoe expedition, works to create a collective confidence that causes a cultural shift in the way confidence in girls and women is developed.

Tennessee Rivers Photo Gallery:

Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Nashville Tennessean:

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.

The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of:

The Lower Mississippi River Foundation

Our Projects:

Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program: long term apprenticeships developing personal character and young leaders through canoe building, big river guiding, and survival skills on the Lower Mississippi River.

LiNKS = Leave No Kids On Shore: LiNK-ing kids to the big river and mother nature -- with the passion of a lynx. Every LiNK in the chain is as important as the others. Real-time experiences for youth in the betterment of personal health and environmental conservation along the Lower Mississippi River.

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.