Upper Mississippi River Institute
(Exact dates TBA)
With a watershed that encompasses all or part of 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, the Mississippi River could be said to reflect North America itself. The decisions our nation makes about how we use our land governs both how our greatest river flows and what flows through it. In the case of the Upper Mississippi, the largest human fingerprint comes from farming. The soil and nutrients used to feed corn and soybean crops in America’s breadbasket end up in the river, creating sediment plumes, algae blooms and an annual dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The 2018 Farm Bill aims to address many of the land use and water quality issues that affect the vast Mississippi watershed.
In June of 2018, IJNR will take a group of 15-20 journalists from across the country on a weeklong learning expedition down the Upper Mississippi to get a first-hand look at some of the issues that originate in and impact the region, from nutrient runoff and invasive species to municipal backlash and environmental justice in downstream communities.
We’ll meet local citizens, elected officials, business owners, resource managers and scientists as we learn about the ecology, hydrology and economy of the mighty Mississippi. We'll also hear more about the 2018 Farm Bill, and what those changes might mean for the communities most impacted.
Stay tuned for more specific details as this exciting institute takes shape.