This year's Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone (which occurs near where the Mississippi River drains into the Gulf) brings the same story of a larger-than-average measurement. The hypoxic (no oxygen) 'dead zone' measured three times larger than our national goal, measuring in at over 6,300 square miles; an area larger than the state of Connecticut. It is a stark reminder that we must be doing more, not less, to protect clean water across the Mississippi River Basin. Friends of the Mississippi River’s, Peter LaFontaine, breaks down this year’s measurement and solutions to the problems here.
It’s time for a new vision
Now, we have a great opportunity to do something different. Let’s break this cycle of the same headlines year after year. The Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative (or MRRRI) is one new tool we can support right now. Matt Rota of Healthy Gulf in Louisiana recently shared that, “this legislation would create a Federal office focused on the health of the Mississippi and would include significant funds dedicated to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that feeds the Dead Zone”.
The MRRRI Act, or H.R. 4202, was introduced by Congresswoman Betty McCollum earlier this summer. Take action to support a new vision for the Mississippi River now by emailing or calling your congressperson (don't worry, it's easy to take action!).
The Dead Zone is three times larger than it 'should' be. Image: LUMCON/NOAA results from their July 25 - August 1, 2021, Gulf Hypoxia Zone measurement cruise.
This blog post was extracted from an email sent by 1 Mississippi on September 2, 2021.
The Mississippi River is an enduring and defining feature of North America – and a vital source of jobs, recreation, and drinking water. Congresswoman Betty McCollum has a new initiative - the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative Act, HR 4202!
Now is the time that we need to reach out to our members of Congress to urge their support for this bill. Follow this link for an action message from the Mississippi River Network that includes a message to share when you make the call.
The MRRRI bill directs EPA to develop a strategy with federal, tribal, state and local entities to improve water quality, resilience to natural disasters, native ecosystems, and more – restoring the vitality of The Great River for generations to come. The LWV UMRR Annual Meeting featured remarks by Representative McCollum and an excellent talk by Kelly McGinnis, Executive Director of the Mississippi River Network. LWV UMRR's Communications Director Gretchen Sabel also shares information on a similar program - the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - and how it has helped to clean up long-time pollution problems in the Great Lakes. You can see the video from this presentation on the LWV UMRR YouTube channel here.
|LWV Upper Mississippi River Region||