The Mississippi River Gator Project is the creation of the first mile-by-mile paddlers guide from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico (1100 miles) on the Mighty Mississippi. Funding from Walden Family Foundation and partnerships have allowed John Ruskey and the boys and girls from Quapaw Canoe Company to create a river guide for paddlers and dispel myths about the river.
Over the years the Mississippi has received some unwarranted criticism and a nasty perception as a big industrial drainage. But, in reality there are hundreds of some of the most wild miles with big sky the country has to offer. By Ruskey bringing many folks along the ride, these writers and scientists works and writings have been able to dispel these myths.
"The Lower Mississippi River creates one of America's greatest wildernesses - and wildest - a land subject to chaotic weather and the unpredictable character of Old Man River. It is a landscape of water and sky, broken only by a horizon of willow and mixed deciduous forests. Everything is big about it. Imagine floating a bend of the river that takes twenty miles of delta to complete, skirting around swirling eddies the size of several city blocks, camping on a sand bar that stretches to the horizon, and swimming in pristine blue holes. It is America's major waterfowl flyway, and central artery of barge shipping. Three-screw tugboats pushing tows a half-mile long are common. Deer, coyote, beaver and possom abound, and bears still inhabit the bottomlands. It is the flood plain of the second biggest river in the world, and water levels might fluctuate fifty feet from Spring high to Summer low. As such, each adventure is slightly different, and itinerary is dependent on river conditions and prevailing weather." - John Ruskey
All captions are the words of the River's greatest spokesperson, John Ruskey
Please have a look at the links below to see how you can participate, gain more information or contribute to the Rivergator Project.
Rivergator: A mile-by-mile paddlers guide to the Mississippi River
Quapaw Canoe Company: Wilderness expeditions on the Mississippi River
Below the Surface: 360 degree video mapping