Friday, February 6, 2009

The Colors of a River: Pollution and the Upper Mississippi

“The Betsy-Nell,” Clarence Jonk wrote in 1933, “has been lowered into the sewage-laden water where fish die, bloat and turn idly about in the eddies, showing their worm-infested bodies like a curse to the men who infected their world. Continuously their white mouths nudge the manure of humanity, the off-wash of the streets and gutters; and here, curling under our starboard side, a brown foam bubbles and steams. Such is our baptism into the Great River.” (River Journey)

What was the Mississippi River like when only American Indians and early explorers paddled its waters? When did we first begin polluting the Mississippi and how? How bad did it get before anyone did something about it?

At his recent presentation, "The Colors of a River - Pollution and the Upper Mississippi River", historian and author Dr. John O. Anfinson of the National Park Service discussed these questions and took a look at the pollution issues facing the great Mississippi today. About 160 community members braved a frigid evening to hear the presentation, which was held at Augsburg College on Monday, January 26th.

John is a historian with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service. John is the author of a history of the metro area Mississippi River entitled A River of History. As an independent scholar, his book, The River We Have Wrought: A History of the Upper Mississippi River has been published by the University of Minnesota Press .

Here is John summarizing the talk, followed by the conclusion of his presentation:

Photos courtesy of Chris Higgins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow.. its an amazing blog..
nice to read bout the missippi..

Get 28 movie channels for 3 months free