From the Delta to the Headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi

This piece is originally posted on the Vanishing Paradise blog.

By Ben Weber, National Wildlife Federation

We have to push for practices that do what is right for people, industry, commerce, and habitat. In my mind, restoring the Mississippi River Delta is the next piece of the puzzle in a long fight to protect waterfowl habitat.

National Wildlife Federation's Ben Weber and Andy McDaniels at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota.

A few weeks ago I left my home in south Louisiana, as I often do, to travel the country and spread the word about the massive wetland loss we are experiencing on the Mississippi River Delta. More specifically, the purpose of these long nights away from my home and my family is to engage sportsmen’s groups, organizations, and businesses to help them understand how much we all stand to lose if we don’t restore the delta. The ultimate goal is to actively involve them in the fight for restoration.

This is my job, it’s what I do, it’s who I am, and I love it. I don’t love the fact that this national treasure is falling apart before our very eyes, but I do love that I play an active part in working to restore this special place. Admittedly and maybe obviously, I’m focused on and addicted to the delta.

For this particular trip, I was headed to the Anoka Game Fair in Minnesota, a two-weekend gathering of all things waterfowl. I had been looking forward to this trip because Minnesota is where it all begins, the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi. I’ve spent almost my entire life at the southern end of this beautiful river, and somehow, this would be my first time visiting its northernmost reaches…

Click here to continue reading about Ben and Andy’s journey to the headwaters of the Mississippi River.