Southwest Journal & Downtown Journal • Mississippi – sick, not dying

The Mississippi River needs help.

The river meets drinking water standards and supports life, but water quality remains an issue, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Park Service and Friends of the Mississippi.

“If you think of this like a check-up for the river, it’s sick,” said Whitney Clark, executive director of Friends of the Mississippi River. “That doesn’t mean it’s dead. It doesn’t need to go to the emergency room. And, for the most part, we know what to do to fix it.”

Lark Weller, water quality coordinator with the National Park Service and co-author of the State of the River Report, said life is an indication of good river health.

“The river is once again home to healthy bald eagle, mussel and fish populations. As pollution has been cleaned up and habitat restored, wildlife has rebounded,” Weller said. “These are symbols of our shared ability to rejuvenate the Mississippi River, and are an inspiration for future success.”

Source: Zoe Peterson,