Mighty Miss Game

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Mississippi Watershed and Management Organization Workshop  # 3

Mississippi River Drinking Water Game.  Please feel free to use this activity in your practice. Need 12 small pieces of paper for each participant.  Created by Barbara Bridges, Ph.D.  drb@bridgescreate.com.  Direct questions to her.

What is a watershed?
A. A place to take a bath.
B. A place to store large amounts of water.
C. A land area that channels rainfall and snowmelt

When was the Mississippi first inhabited by humans ? Within 1000 years. 4000 BC   4th millennium BCE.  The river provided transportation, clean water, and abundant food, including freshwater mussels and fish.

How many miles long?  Within 500 miles. The Mighty Miss is 3000 miles long

Flows through how many states?  Closest without going over. Courses through 10 states.

How many species? Within 100. The Mississippi River is home to 360 species of fish, 326 species of birds, 145 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals. Which one is the most destructive?

How deep is the Mississippi?  Within 50 feet. The deepest place on the Mississippi River is 200-feet deep and is located in New Orleans.

What rank in the world, in size, is the Mississippi River Watershed?  3rd largest watershed in the world.

2.5 million Minnesotans—more than 44% of the state’s residents get their drinking water from the Mississippi River

What percentage of Minneapolis drinking water comes from the Mississippi River? Within 10%  Minneapolis  sources its drinking water from a mix of surface and groundwater but estimates indicate over 80% of our Minneapolis drinking water comes from the Mississippi.

Sources of Contamination? Make a group list.  Navigation, dredging, construction, wetland development, agricultural practices, urbanization, industrial waste discharges, invasive exotics and increased recreational use continue to take their toll.  National Park Service Current Status and Research reports stretches of the Mississippi River within the park corridor exceed water quality standards for mercury, bacteria, sediment, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), and nutrients.

All Answer/Discuss:
What is a micro-plastic?  Microplastics are fibers from garments like polyester fleece, cosmetic scrubbing beads, and physical breakdown of any plastic – it may have a long life, but does break into small pieces.  Microplastic fibers  in the metro river pose uncertain risks to aquatic life and health. Additional research and collective action are required to mitigate their potential long-term impacts.

What are we doing to make the river cleaner?
The Mississippi River is plagued by nitrogen and phosphorous run off from agriculture. The Walton Family Foundation and others are working with farmers to employ sustainable practices which reduce major pollution of nitrogen and phosphorus.

In 2015 Congress closed the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock. Closure of the navigation lock could open the door to restoration of an 8-mile stretch of historic big river rapids through downtown Minneapolis. Invasive carp were a threat to the Upper Mississippi.

What is important about the bald eaglemussel, and fish populations?
2016 State of the River Report- Friends of the Mississippi River and National Park Service
The river is once again home to healthy bald eaglemussel, and fish populations. As pollution has been cleaned up and habitat restored, wildlife has rebounded. These are symbols of our shared ability to rejuvenate the Mississippi River, and are an inspiration for future success.


Is the drinking water from the Mississippi safe and delicious when it comes out of your faucet?

2019 Water Quality Report from the Minneapolis Public Works dept. Water meets all standards.
In the same year: National Park Service reported:   “Thanks to the great work of public utilities, treated drinking water from the Mississippi is safe and delicious!”