For the 2023 expedition we plan to travel from the Headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, traveling approximately 800 miles of that distance on the water (with the remainder traveling in vans). We would cover that distance on the water over the course of 40 days of sailing or paddling, with the remainder being spent in layover days camping on islands or with site visits in locations along the way. The itinerary is broken down into five segments: the Headwaters, the Upper Mississippi around the Twin Cities, the Middle Mississippi and St. Louis, the Lower Mississippi (from Natchez to New Orleans) and the Delta and Gulf South. Programming and curriculum are being developed in coordination with Field Stations in each of these regions that are part of the “Mississippi River Watershed: An Immersive Humanities Curriculum,” funded by the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for the Future program.
DRAFT ITINERARY (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Aug. 29-30: Lake Itasca orientation and site visits related to Line 3 and the University of Minnesota Biological Field Research Station
Aug. 31 – Sept. 4: Field Station 1 Paddling the Headwaters (5 days in tandem canoes)
Sept. 5 – 8: Field Station 2 Twin Cities site visits related to environmental justice and Indigenous resistance in the region
Sept. 9: Transit with boats on trailers to near Keokuk, Iowa (a 400-mile drive)
Sept. 10 – Oct. 10: Sail and paddle the Middle Mississippi River & St. Louis from Keokuk to Cairo, Illinois (~350 miles on the river; in St. Louis for Field Station 3 from Sept. 28 – Oct. 1)
Oct. 11-17 Field Station 4 in Memphis (3 nights) and then Jackson, MS (2 nights).
Oct. 18 – Nov. 20: Launch boats from Natchez and sail through Baton Rouge and the Chemical Corridor to New Orleans
Nov. 21-28: Field Station 5 Multiple Site visits and activities in New Orleans and surrounding area
Nov. 29 – Dec. 6: Final sail-paddle from New Orleans to Mardi Gras Pass and then along the Gulf Coast to Biloxi, MS.
Dec. 7-13: Work on final projects, presentations, with a final celebration in New Orleans on Dec. 13
Dec. 14 – 15: shuttle back from New Orleans to Minneapolis