Problems along the Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is an integral part of American history and serves as a substantial freshwater source for 18 million people in the United States. Meanwhile, the water quality and the health of dependent ecosystems are in jeopardy from contaminated runoff, eroded river and stream banks, excess nutrients from lawn and garden fertilizers, and untreated sewage, among other sources. In fact, recreation (i.e., fishing and swimming) is only safe in about half of the waters within the Mississippi River watershed.
The Dead Zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico that forms every spring as a result of an overload of nutrients from fertilizers and sewage being washed into the Mississippi River. These nutrients exacerbate algal blooms that, in turn, threaten aquatic life by depleting oxygen in the Gulf.
How to Help
Join our friends from the Mississippi River Network by becoming a River Citizen. As a River Citizen you pledge to take three of the below-listed actions to improve and protect the state of the Mississippi River:
Spread the word about 1 Mississippi
- Connect with the River
- Volunteer for the River
- Pick up garbage and pet waste to reduce pollution and harmful runoff into the River
- Choose native plants for yards
- Contact Congress through 1 Mississippi Action Center
- Reduce the use of lawn and garden fertilizers containing phosphorous and nitrogen
- Support sustainable agriculture practices, policies and people who promote healthy soil
- Protect valuable local wetlands from harmful development