Report: Mississippi River Health Improving, Protections Still Needed

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new report card on the Mississippi River finds signs that the river’s health is improving.

But the State of the River Report issued Wednesday also calls for protecting the river against emerging contaminants, such as microplastic fibers and chloride, and agricultural pollution.

The report examines 14 key indicators of the Mississippi’s health, including bacteria, phosphorus, nitrate and sediment levels, as well as recreation and wildlife.

Bald eagle, mussel and fish populations are increasing, the report found. But the report says recreation and aquatic habitat on the Mississippi is being degraded by excess sediments and phosphorus, mainly from agricultural sources.

The report was released by the Friends of the Mississippi River and the National Park Service Mississippi National River and Recreation Area unit.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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