WHAT YOU CAN DO


The Mississippi River

The Missouri River

The Ohio River

A River Near You


The Mississippi River

It is clear that there are problems present in the Mississippi River Basin. If you live in this area you may be wondering what part you can play in protecting the system. The most impotant thing to remember is that it takes the cooperation of many people to succeed. Some people think that the responsibiltiy for improving the water conditions belongs to the government. Although this is partially true, the government can only control the land that is considered public. That is where you become more important. It is up to all of us to do our part and spread the word in order to protect our river systems.

There are several ways to help the Mississippi. The first thing that you can do is try to locate and contact any organizations that are interestred in conservation of the Mississippi River. Some of these groups may be organizing clean up efforts or other programs and could use your help. If you can't find a group to help, there is no rule that says you can't create your own. There are also many steps that you can take as an individual. Look in the "A River Near You" section for some more ideas.

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The Missouri River

This Section is Still Under Construction!
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The Ohio River

If you live near the shores of the Ohio River and you are interested in protecting it, there is an annual event just for you. Since 1989, an organization known as ORSANCO has sponsored a project aimed at cleaning the banks of the Ohio River. It is called the Ohio River Sweep and it is one of the largest organized cleanup efforts of its time. It is scheduled for the 3rd saturday in June of each year. The sweep has been so successful that it had 22,000 participants in 1997. All of those people were able to pick up over 13,000 tons of trash from the banks of the Ohio River. ORSANCO also sponsors a poster contest using the Ohio River Sweep as a theme. For more information on the sweep and the contest, contact: http://www.orsanco.org/sweep.html
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A River Near You

If you do not live along the banks of the rivers that this page focused on you may be wondering if there is anything that you can do. Everyone lives in a watershed no matter where you are. There may not be anything that you can do directly to help the Mississippi River watershed, but you can help to protect a river near you.
There is a lot that you can do if you are shopping to help preserve the world around you. Many communties now offer recycling programs. Try to purchase items that will be accepted in this program. Avoid buying products that cannot be recycled and watch out for products that use a lot of extra packaging. The best thing would be to buy containers and products that can be refilled in the original container so it could be used over and over.
To decrease the amount of dangerous chemicals that are produced, look for non toxic cleaners. There are still some spray bottles around that use CFC's (chloroflourocarbons) which damage the planet's ozone layer. Instead of using these, purchase bottles with hand pumps.
Big things can happen when the government is involved. Letting your local polititions know how you feel about protecting your environment is important. Many of these legislators are so busy that it would be hard to catch up to them in person. There is a solution though. Letters or phone calls can be very important. If you would like to organize a letter writing campaign there are as few things that you should know. For suggestions on writing a letter or an address for your represenative in congress click here.
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Do Your Part to Protect Our Watersheds