Featured mission: Flying over the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers
The Wisconsin River near Wauzeka, Wisconsin. Photo by Drake White-Bergy/Wisconsin Watch/Lighthawk.
LightHawk volunteer pilot Susan Schwabb flew a mission for the Mississippi River Ag and Water Desk and Wisconsin Watch on May 25. The flight was designed to collect new photos of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers. Wisconsin Watch is a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news outlet working to increase the quality and quantity of investigative reporting in Wisconsin, while training current and future investigative journalists. Their work fosters an informed citizenry and strengthens democracy. The mission of the Water Desk is to enhance the quantity, quality and impact of journalism on agriculture, water and related issues throughout
According to the Water Desk, "90% of America's agricultural exports are grown in the Mississippi River Basin, including more than three-quarters of the world's exports in feed grains, and most of the country's livestock. More than 70% of nitrate pollution in the Mississippi River comes from agriculture, which harms human health and aquatic life and contributes to the 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico."
The Mississippi River near Cassville, Wisconsin. Photo by Drake White-Bergy/Wisconsin Watch/Lighthawk.
Our partners at American Rivers add, "The Mississippi River also is a source of drinking water to as many as 20 million people in 50 cities. And the river and its 30-million-acre floodplain provide vital habitat for more than 870 species of fish and wildlife, including dozens of rare, threatened and endangered species, the group said. But the river is polluted with nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer runoff from Iowa and other farm states, contributing to a massive dead zone that's unable to support aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico. Last year, the dead zone was about the size of Hawaii."
Several days after the flight, Drake remarked, "I was trying to get general shots of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. I could not have done it without LightHawk. This was my first time in an airplane, so I learned about flying and gained the new experience of being up in the air. This flight will help our organization and partnered organizations use original images when releasing articles related to the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers.
The Mississippi River Watershed/Lighthawk
Thank you to volunteer pilot Susan Schwabb for making this important flight happen. The images, video, and the experience will help both organizations convey the importance of both river systems on a local and national level. Within a week after the flight, one of the photographer's photos appeared in a Northern Public Radio segment. LightHawk's targeted partnership building in the watershed will
continue to yield additional flights requests and increased exposure for the work we will accomplish in 2023 and beyond.
Join us in Bend, Oregon this October for our Annual Meeting & Fly-In
On October 27-29, 2023, LightHawk volunteer pilots, conservation partners, staff and guests will gather for our Annual Meeting & Fly-In.
We're excited to get together once again to reconnect with friends and colleagues in a beautiful location. Join us in Bend, Oregon to celebrate our accomplishments, learn from each other and look ahead to
We'll have presentations from aviation experts, conservation partners and more over the course of the weekend along with the usual Volunteer Pilot Awards and dinner featuring a special keynote speaker.
Riverhouse on the Deschutes
3075 N. Business 97
Bend, OR 97703
Phone: (541) 389-3111
LightHawk Photo of the Month
Photo by Andrew S. Lewis
This month's photo was captured by Andrew S. Lewis on a flight for conservation partner Maine Rivers. The flight, which took place in June, took a professional photographer and journalist up to see and collect images of lower Kennebec and upper headwaters where the endangered Atlantic salmon has spawning habitat. The
Kennebec Coalition is focusing river restoration efforts on the impact of four dams located between Waterville to Skowhegan, which have a huge impact on salmon. Maine Rivers is anticipating that images and written articles will be shared as a result of the flight.
Support LightHawk and make conservation fly!
LightHawk's mission is as important today as it has ever been. Working with partners across the country, we're bringing the gift of aviation to conservation issues. Thanks to LightHawk and its community of volunteer pilots, our conservation partners are able to accomplish more, in less time - preserving important resources. Your gift lifts our wings and brings success to projects sooner. You can make conservation fly!
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