The Great Healthy Yard Project will concentrate on watersheds, and the first is the Mississippi River Watershed
With many of our environmental protections, including those that protect our water quality, in jeopardy it is important for the Great Healthy Yard Project to make an impact NOW. With this in mind we will concentrate on watersheds, starting with a focus on the Mississippi River Watershed.
The Great Healthy Yard Project is important because national stream tests done in 2013 showed that our nation’s waterways are contaminated with pesticides and fertilizers. Small amounts of these chemicals can disrupt our hormonal system, and they act cumulatively. The Great Healthy Yard Project supplies the knowledge and tools we need to begin to fix this problem now by starting in our backyards and working together.
Concentrating on the Mississippi River Watershed is important because it is the largest watershed in the United States. 41 percent of the land in the US eventually drains into the Mississippi River, and 27 percent of the United States population lives on land that drains into the Mississippi. Millions of people get drinking water from the river, and how people care for it upstream matters tremendously. The river empties into the Gulf of Mexico, and pollutants that travel with it are also harming the Gulf, contributing to algae overgrowth and dead zones. Parts of 27 states are in the Mississippi River basin, and 70 towns and cities get their drinking water from it.
The ten states along the river are Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Also, it courses through many conservative areas. Republicans were in the past the party of conservation. Now with this administration many environmental protections are being walked back. But we all want clean water, and if people understand how chemicals get into their drinking water and what they do to our bodies when they are there, they will not only behave more sensibly in their own yards, but push representatives from both parties to back environmental regulations that protect our water quality and our families health.