River is threatened by a variety of pollutants. Municipal, industrial,
and agricultural pollutants have been identified in the waters and sediments
of the River. In addition to organic compounds and trace metal that
are naturally present in the water, they also derive from the industrial
and municipal wastes and runoff from agricultural and urban areas.
For example, the Louisiana section alone receives 97 million pounds of
toxics annually. This contributes to Louisiana's "Cancer Alley", with its
devastating impacts on both human health and river communities. An additional
problem is that water volume often prevents accumulation of sediments,
washing valuable top soils far out into the Gulf of Mexico and causing
the loss of 25 square miles of delta wetlands annually. Also, high
concentrations of bacteria associated with human waste have been found
downstream as a result of sewage flowing into the river.
Because the Mississippi is such a large river covering a vast area, there is no comprohensive organization dedicated to the protection of the entire river. No state claims the river as its own responsibility, which adds to the difficultly of keeping it pollutant free.
The Friends of the Mississippi River
Conservation Program works to protect the riverfront wilderness. You can
visit their web site by clicking on the following : Conservation