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Friday, October 12 -- Caroline Kennedy Community Books Talks Lecture Series Clarksdale, Miss

The Carnegie Public Library, in partnership with the Coahoma County Higher Education Center, is extremely pleased to announce that Caroline Kennedy will speak as part of the Community Books Talks Lecture Series on Friday, October 12, on the lawn of the Cutrer Mansion, 109 Clark Street in downtown Clarksdale, with the Bank Building at 123 E. Second as the rain location. The grounds will open at 5pm; the talk begins at 5:30pm. There will be a limited number of the books Listening In and A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poems for Children for sale by the Friends of the Library, and sales will benefit the Friends. Ms. Kennedy will be available to sign books after her talk. This event is made possible by a grant from the Gone Giving Circle of the New Hampshire Charitable Trust. You can help the library continue presenting events such as this by making a donation today. For more information call 662-624-4461 or email

Saturday Oct 13 -- the Eleventh Annual Phatwater Kayak Challenge 42 miles down the Mississippi River and no speed limit! Port Gibson to Natchez-Under-the-Hill. Registration open through Friday. Go to for more info.

Sat, Oct 13th -- Canoe/Kayak Clinic 8am-4pm Cypress Black Bayou Park, Benton, Louisiana. Learn how to load and unload your boat, tie the boat down properly to your vehicle, how to carry your boat, learn about boat types and outfitting your boat to your body safely. You will also learn many new paddling strokes, the right and wrong gear to have, self-rescue, river signals, river classification's, how to plan a trip and many other necessary skills to be a great paddler. The class is $70.00. We do have boats that can be rented prior to the clinic. Minimum age is 12. Register now! Deadline to register is Friday, October 5th. Only 20 spots available. Email Adam Willard at to receive your registration form and rental information. Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society

Thursday Oct 18 -- 40th Anniversary Celebration of the US Clean Water Act! Free Paddling on the Mississippi River! Buck Island and Helena Harbor Cleanup. 1pm-6pm from Quapaw Canoe Company 411 Ohio Street in downtown Helena, Arkansas. Go to the harbor landing and choose a canoe, a kayak or SUP and help clean up the Mississippi River in the Helena Harbor and on Buck Island and help us honor the river and the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the US Clean Water Act. We’ll provide gloves, trash bags as well as paddles and life jackets. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by parent.

Thursday Oct 18 -- 40th Anniversary Celebration of the US Clean Water Act! Free Paddling on the Big Sunflower River! Sunflower River Cleanup. 9am-1pm from Quapaw Canoe Company in downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi. Come down to the landing behind Quapaw Canoe Company and jump in a canoe, a kayak or SUP and help clean up the Sunflower River in downtown Clarksdale in honor of the river and the US Clean Water Act. We’ll provide gloves, trash bags as well as paddles and life jackets.


Thurs Nov 1 -- Sun Nov 4, Free Guided Tours! Paddle and Explore the Big Sunflower River through Delta National Forest! Anguilla to Holly Bluff to the Little Sunflower. Big trees, deep woods, spectacular fall colors and abundant wildlife. Free Guided Tours Every Day! Nominal charge for canoe, kayak or SUP rental ($35/vessel + shuttle). Contact for more information.

Nov 12 - Nov 23 -- Low Water Expedition: Memphis to Vicksburg. 360-mile long Expedition. Put in above Memphis and paddle the lowest water in almost 100 years down the Chickasaw Bluffs and into the Mississippi Delta, past the Arkansas River and the land where the blues was born all of the way down to the towering bluffs of Vicksburg. The wildest and most remote floodplain of the Lower Mississippi River. Low water has exposed steamboat and towboat wrecks, extremely rare fossils, and fantastically strange convolutions of river topography. If you’ve ever wondered what the bottom of the Mississippi River looks like, here is your opportunity! Contact for more information. For photos and description go to: and also visit

The Mark River Blog:

Water for Life

By Mighty Quapaw Youth Leader Mark “River” Peoples

1 Mississippi Southern Region Intern

Coming off the healing ceremony of the equinox, the Bear Dance, I'm feeling focused and energized for the season ahead. With fall arriving fast and football season in full throttle my body and mind drift with the Mississippi River, my travels as a Mighty Quapaw, and processing ideas and adventures yet to be documented and shared. With the anniversary of the Clean Water Act of 1972 upon us I'm compelled to share my journeys and the significance of this piece of legislation which saved our waterways and wetland ecosystems. In my universe, the Clean Water Act is as epic of an event as the Louisiana Purchase, the acquisition that acquired the western reaches of the Mississippi River and it's western tributaries. The Clean Water Act regulates industries and other establishments for profits, making them responsible for discharges of bioaccumulative toxins of PCB's( manmade chemicals) and PCDE's (flame retardants) which eventually contaminate river bottoms, then the benthic community, and works itself up the food chain.

Being a Mighty Quapaw I am connected and intimate with our great rivers and streams. As summer creeps into fall my internal instincts alters my moods and brings the excitement of things ahead. I man my canoe for a overnight expedition past Island 64 and into the Muddy Waters Wilderness below. The gray cool day is infinitely beautiful with sandbars angelic curvature creating a canvas and setting of a desert with only an occasional fish carcass skeletal system altering the landscape. The water is low and beautiful with pelicans, egrets, herons, and other fish eating birds celebrating the reception of a great summer. As usual, a bald eagle welcomes me to the sacred Mississippi River, causing me to pause and thank the Creator for the restoration of the species affected in the late 70's by the runoff of the poisonous DDT use by farmers. The banning of these chemicals were directly related to the passing of the Clean Water Act of 1972. I get emotional knowing the passing of this legislation preserved this great resource for myself and generations to come.

I contain my emotions and realize that the Mississippi River is only as healthy as it's tributaries. I recall my introduction to the Yellowstone River, a tributary of the Missouri River. Us Mighty Quapaws arrived in Livingston, Montana, in the middle if the night, with only the sounds of the current meandering around the shoals of rock. The sky altogether as vast and beautiful as the wide skies of the Lower Mississippi River Delta, it's features leap into your mind as if the Creator took a water balloon of stars and splashed them against the mountains. Thick clusters of stars side by side as if fireworks exploded, but never descended to earth. I sleep with roaring sound of the river anticipating the parabolic view of the mountains that I will receive in the morning. The morning doesn't disappoint as mountains seem to rise from the earth. Walking to the shores of the Yellowstone, I notice I'm not alone as whitetail deer drink and graze 20 feet upwind from human existence, while a beautiful Montana stallion gallops down the mountain for a drink. Rainbow trout tread the shoals waiting patiently for the warming of the sun to trigger the first hatch of flies. With the oil and mining industries prevalent in the Northwest, it's great to see this great river healthy and thriving. Another ecosystem directly affected by the Clean Water Act of 1972.

Nearly 25 years ago, my father purchased approximately 100 acres of land in the St. Francis Mountains of the Mark Twain National forest in Iron County, Missouri near the headwaters of the St. Francis River. Approaching retirement, he wanted to fulfill his father's dream of creating and working a portion of land that would provide the resources essential to sustain human life while reintroducing wildlife to a forest which had been depleted by the lumber industry and streams contaminated from the mining industry. For a great price, my family acquired a fresh water spring and aquifer filtered by the limestone beds deposited by the shallow seas of long ago. We created a lake which is now booming with catfish, bluegill, and bass. It created a freshwater resource for the wildlife keeping them frequenting our land. It's a food resource for raccoons, weasels, fox, and bobcats. Eagles, herons, and egrets keep our lake balanced. Owls and hawks canvass our land taking an occasional chicken and keeping the pack rat population in check. This process of creating a habitat can only be achieved if you have a freshwater source, and the legal means to protect it. That why the Clean Water Act is so monumental.

Einstein once said, "make every equation simple as possible, but no simpler", spawning my title "Water for Life." That's as simple as it gets. Without water there is no life.

Become a river citizen today and continue to protect our most valuable resource. Thank you Clean Water Act.

-Mark River

(*Note: you can help us celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the US Clean Water Act with FREE CANOE & KAYAK & SUP Rentals on the Mississippi River and Sunflower Rivers. Participate in a river Clean-Up. Get to know your river! See below Oct 18th for more information).

This Fall

Get to know YOUR river!