(From Blue Legacy's Expedition: Blue Planet)

St. Louis marks a dividing line in the Mississippi River. To the north, in Minnesota, it is a national treasure attracting more people for recreation than Yellowstone National Park. To the south, it is hardly a river anymore. It more closely resembles a drainage pipe.

As it journeys through the middle of America, the Mississippi suffers the bombardments of human civilization, deteriorating with each mile. Several factors contribute to its degradation. For one, the river becomes more and more polluted with run-off from the whopping 40 percent of US land that it drains: chemical fertilizers from agriculture, industrial toxins, as well as sewage and waste. By the time it reaches Louisiana, the water is so filthy that the government advises against eating the fish or swimming in the river.  READ MORE

--from Alexandra Cousteau's Mississippi River blog/Expedition: Blue Planet

Alexandra Cousteau on a dock over the Mississippi River
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Expedition: Blue Planet is part of Alexandra Cousteau's Blue Legacy. It is a 100-day journey across 5 continents exploring the most critical water issues of our time. This Expedition is not just about oceans: it's about people, our connection to water issues around the world, and a recognition that we all have the power to protect and replenish our most important life support system.

Expedition: Blue Planet