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RIVER LIFE

Mississippi River Network

November 11, 2010Patrick NunnallyUncategorizedComments Off on Mississippi River Network

The Mississippi is a mighty big river, by any measure, as we all know.  I’m not sure if anyone has an accurate and up to date count of how many nonprofits, state and federal agencies, county and city governments are involved in river-related work, not to mention the for-profit companies that regularly depend on the Mississippi.

I know I can’t keep up with all of this, but River Life is part of the Mississippi River Network, a group of about 30 nonprofits that is working on sustaining and restoring the river, the lands along the river, and the people who depend on it for their livelihoods, their well-being, and their sense of place.  The member groups are located all up and down the river, and each has a particular part of the bigger picture that they specialize in.  When we get together for our annual meeting, it’s quite a deal!

I thought I’d share some facts and concepts from the latest monthly update from the MRN. If you want to learn more, or see about how to be part of their work through their River Citizen network, go to the 1 Mississippi campaign web site.

In the meantime, to whet your appetite, you might think about these nuggets:

–The National Audubon Society recently released a report on how birds are dealing with the aftermath of the BP oil spill. You can find the full report and accompanying materials at: http://gulfoilspill.audubon.org/oil-and-birds-too-close-comfort.

–Did you know that the Food Stamp Program makes up 78% of the Farm Bill’s Budget? One of the Network’s three main policy initiatives for the next couple years will be to amend the 2012 Farm Bill in ways to support sustainable agriculture and help reduce agricultural pollution in the Mississippi River. Because the Farm Bill is so complicated, we will be sending out a series of brief two-page info sheets on the Bill for the Network.

The federal Farm Bill may indeed be the largest single policy tool to affect water quality in the Mississippi River.  We won’t cover the bill in detail–plenty of others do that–but will update you from time to time and make sure you know where to look to learn more.  

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