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Mississippi River

Improving water health on the Mississippi River
Improving water health on the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is America’s river highway – working hard to transport the bounties of America’s heartland around the world. Nearly 20 million people rely on the river for their drinking water.

But the Mississippi is also in peril. Climate change and some farming practices are taking a heavy toll on the river and its communities. Severe weather is causing more intense flooding. For decades, excess fertilizer has run off farms and into the Mississippi – where water becomes toxic. Deforestation has made the problem worse. And coastal land loss threatens life on the Gulf Coast.

The Mississippi’s challenges extend from the river’s headwaters to its mouth. So we need a ‘whole river’ approach to finding solutions. The foundation’s efforts build on collaboration with diverse partners elevating the voices of the people working to improve the health of the river and its water. Everyone needs to be at the table to build solutions that benefit all.

We’re working with farmers to improve how we grow our food. Supporting solutions that reduce runoff and improve soil health. Nature also provides a blueprint for a healthy river and thriving communities. This includes restoring natural floodplains and wetlands. And helping reforest lands with marginal farming value. On the Gulf Coast, natural infrastructure projects are building new land.

We believe these solutions can help ensure a clean and resilient river. Where people and nature thrive together.

Theory of Change: Mississippi River
Because the Mississippi’s challenges extend from its headwaters to mouth, we need strong coalitions and a ‘whole river’ approach to tackling its problems.
Mississippi River in Mississippi.jpg
Support for sustainable farming to protect water

Americans are united to keep our rivers and streams clean, while also supporting farmers. Voters say it is very important to adopt sustainable farming practices to support clean water and reduce air pollution.

Roots of Conservation promo
Featured Video: The Roots of Conservation
Roots of Conservation is a series of stories about the people working to address threats to water quality and soil health in the Mississippi River Basin.
Rod Ofte2 Roots of Conservation
Creating a Brighter Future for Farms & Rural Communities
Read more about how sustainable agriculture can improve soil and water health, protecting communities and the environment.
Research on Sustainable Agriculture
Rebuilding Land and Communities on the Gulf Coast
At the mouth of the Mississippi, Louisiana's coastal plan is a model for nature-based conservation solutions to secure a long-term future for people and communities.
Moira Mcdonald August 22, 2022
The state has used funding from the Restore Act and other programs to improve coastal resilience through natural infrastructure
Ten years ago, Congress passed the RESTORE Act. Today, this landmark legislation is advancing natural infrastructure that protects Gulf communities
May 21, 2018
The Gulf of Mexico relies on a healthy coast, but wetlands are disappearing. The land is vital to recreation, business and wildlife in Louisiana. Right now, we have the best opportunity in generations to secure the health of our coast and its economy for good. We’re working to develop large-scale projects that restore wetlands, barrier islands, oyster reefs and other natural systems.
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