Want to know what you can do at home to reduce the amount of pollutants entering the river? Incorporate a few water quality tips into your daily life and make a difference. If you would like to get involved, meet up with river professionals and enthusiasts at our monthly Mississippi River Forums.
Stretches of the Mississippi River within the park corridor exceed water quality standards for mercury, bacteria, sediment, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), and nutrients. Unfortunately, these "impairments" can make the water unsuitable for fishing, swimming, and drinking.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is working with a number of partners to get the water to "fishable" and "swimmable" conditions. (Thanks to the great work of public utilities, treated drinking water from the Mississippi is safe and delicious!) The National Park Service is participating in the process to identify sources of bacterial contamination in the river and develop a plan to reduce that contamination.
The pollution that has led to these conditions cannot be cleaned up overnight-it will take years and widespread coordination to develop and implement effective pollution-reduction plans, and possibly many more years until they are successful.
As work to make the river "fishable" and "swimmable" advances, so will our website. The goal is to offer up-to-date information regarding the status of the river, while providing features and information that can be employed in your daily life.