Coast Guard Check-ins

Hello! We are about to depart Buena Vista, Iowa and paddle to Dubuque. There is a new development in our trip! As we were going through Lock and Dam #9 the lock master gave us a note from the Upper Mississippi Coast Guard. Apparently they had been trying to track us down for a few days. A barge company emailed them about our trip and they took a special interest in following us. The development: We now have to check in with the Coast Guard at 0600 and 1800 everyday. Why are there coast guards stationed on the Mississippi River? What do they do? Research a story on the Mississippi in which the coast guard was called to action. Why do you think they are so interested in knowing where we are all of the time?

Today the coast guard is going to escort us into the Port of Dubuque. It should be quite the adventure!

The other day we paddled by a construction site on the water. We inquired what was going on and learned that the Army Corp of Engineers is building islands on this section of the river as part of their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). What is an EIS? What entities are required to write them? What act passed by congress requires an EIS and why is that act historically significant?

One thing that has come up frequently in our conversations is the idea of wilderness. What is nature? Is it land that is wild and untouched or is it man made lakes and islands? Is there nature in our backyards or do we have to travel to designated wilderness areas to truly experience it? In this day in age, is anything truly wild? Does it need to be? Challenge: Find a spot in your backyard or neighborhood that best represents your understanding of nature. Why did you choose this spot?

Thanks again for following us! The barges, locks, and wide river have been exciting for us to experience. Please post the responses to our blog questions in the comment section and if you have any questions feel free to text 3059726564. We will feature your question in our next blog!

Pictures: Lee gets stuck in the mud. Liz waits for barges to pass the channel. The group waits in a lock to go through the dam.

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