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River Resources

As part of its Critical Ecoregions Program, the Sierra Club has identified the Mississippi basin as one of 19 endangered ecological regions in the United States and Canada. To read about the Club's efforts to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plans to expand the lock and dam system on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, go to For information on wetlands restoration in the upper Mississippi, go to wetlands or contact the Club's Midwest office at 214 N. Henry St. #203, Madison, WI 53703-2200; (608) 257-4994; e-mail

The Sierra Club is a member of the Mississippi River Basin Alliance, a citizens' coalition that unites environmental-justice organizations and traditional conservation groups around Mississippi issues. Its Web site offers a newsletter, river facts, and useful links: www.mrba. org; Mississippi River Basin Alliance, 708 North First St. #238, Minneapolis, MN 55401; (612) 334-9460.

American Rivers is dedicated to protecting and restoring rivers nationwide. Its Mississippi River Campaign is working to restore habitat, improve water quality, and reconnect local communities with the river: mississippiriver; 326 W. Third St., Suite 714, Davenport, IA 52801; (563) 884-4481. The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water works to improve watershed conditions throughout the Mississippi River basin: www.epa. gov/msbasin; U.S. EPA Water Resource Center, RC-4100, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20460; (202) 260-7786.

The EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program is an intergovernmental, community-based effort that addresses habitat, public health, estuaries, fish kills, invasive species, nutrient enrichment, and environmental education in the Gulf:; Office of Public Affairs, Building 1103, Room 202, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000; (228) 688-1159.

The Mississippi Headwaters Board is a Minnesota state entity dedicated to preserving the cultural, scenic, scientific, and recreational values of the Mississippi River's first 400 miles:; Cass County Courthouse, P.O. Box 3000, Walker, MN 56484; (218) 547-7263.

Formed in 1943, the Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee is a group of resource managers working to protect the upper Mississippi. It offers a searchable catalog of technical documents and plentiful Internet links:; 4469 48th Ave. Court, Rock Island, IL 61201; (309) 793-5800, ext. 522. The Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee is composed of 11 state natural-resource agencies and other cooperating groups concerned with water quality and wildlife habitat on the river below Cairo, Illinois:; 2524 S. Frontage Rd., Suite C, Vicksburg, MS 39180-5269; (601) 629-6602.

The Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center provides facts and research data for scientists, river managers, teachers, students, and others on the Mississippi and its watershed:; U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, 2630 Fanta Reed Rd., La Crosse, WI 54603; (608) 783-6451.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has two bodies dedicated to flood control, environmental issues, and engineering measures in the Mississippi valley: The Mississippi Valley Division, which approves civil works and some military programs, and the Mississippi River Commission, created by Congress in 1876 to oversee projects and programs for river "improvements":; USACE Mississippi Valley Division, Public Affairs, 1400 Walnut St., Vicksburg, MS 39180; (601) 634-7110.

The Mississippi River Parkway Commission is a multi-state organization that works to preserve and promote the national, scenic, and historic parkway known as the Great River Road:; P.O. Box 59159, Minneapolis, MN 55459-8257; (763) 212-2560.

The Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa, houses extensive archives and exhibits covering 300 years of river history, the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and the upper Mississippi's largest collection of historic small watercraft:; P.O. Box 266, Third St. Ice Harbor, Dubuque, IA 52004-0266; (800) 226-3369.

The Mississippi: River of Song is a Smithsonian Institution series for public television and radio that explores contemporary music--from Prince to the King--along the course of the river:

The University of California at Berkeley's Bancroft Library houses the Mark Twain Papers and Project, an archive that includes the notebooks, correspondence, manuscripts, first editions, and private papers of Samuel Clemens. The library hosts an online exhibition: Mark Twain at Large: His Travels Here and Abroad, featuring the author's journeys on the Mississippi:; Mark Twain Papers, University of California, 480 Doe Library, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; (510) 642-6480.

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