Relay of Voices has continued to work with the Mississippi River Network, its over 60 member organizations, and their 20,000 River Citizens throughout the ten states to listen deeply to the issues facing land, water, wildlife and people up and down the Mississippi River.
1 Mississippi is supported by the Mississippi River Network (MRN) to encourage River Citizens through education, inspiration, and opportunities to embrace the Mississippi River.
The goal of the Network is to protect the land, water and people of the United States’ greatest River. Founded in 2005, the Network has grown into a diverse coalition of over 60 nonprofit organizations and businesses from the River’s headwaters in Minnesota, to where it drains into the Gulf of Mexico. Network members share resources, implement whole River strategies, and support the 1 Mississippi national program.
The Network focuses on three priority issues that need River-wide cooperation:
- Establish a national commitment to protect and restore the Mississippi River through increased public awareness and support.
- Promote Farm Bill Conservation Practices throughout the Mississippi River Basin.
- Encourage reliance on natural infrastructure and restoration of wetlands and floodplains.
Relay of Voices collaborated, during its original journey, with the Water Institute of the Gulf to bring together art and science. With sophisticated GPS body cameras worn each day, Tom and Victoria Styrbicki gathered landscape data as well as cultural data located in each town and city. This data has now been mapped and compiled into a “book,” or better yet, the Relay of Voices interactive website, to reveal the vocabulary of the River region, providing a valuable resource for scientists, artists, policy makers, and the general public.
The Water Institute is a not-for-profit, independent applied research and technical services institution with a mission to help coastal and deltaic communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. Through an integrated and inter-disciplinary approach, their work helps to create more resilient communities, thriving economies, and a healthy environment.
Relay of Voices cultivated a marketing partnership with the Mississippi River Parkway Commission in an effort to spread the voices of the River to a broader audience and bring more people to visit the River region during the original journey.
The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) is a multi-state organization that was established in 1938 to work collectively to preserve, promote, and enhance the scenic, historic, and recreational resources of the Mississippi River. The MRPC works to foster economic growth in the corridor and develop the national, scenic and historic parkway known as the Great River Road. In 2018, the MRPC celebrated its 80th Anniversary. For decades, the volunteers of the MRPC have coordinated efforts on federal, state, and local levels to leverage millions of dollars for highway improvements, recreation trails, bikeways, scenic overlooks, and historic preservation. The MRPC works collaboratively with Mississippi River Country, USA to coordinate both domestic and international marketing for the river valley and facilitates efforts to enhance economic development and resource awareness.