The Water Main Presents Flyover from MPR News Special Edition – Down the Mississippi River

Jul 11, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn., July 11, 2018 – The Water Main and national call-in program Flyover from MPR News are partnering for one week this month to create a special edition focusing on one of the country’s most important bodies of water, the Mississippi River. Beginning July 16, the special edition Down the Mississippi River will look at the river and its influence on the economy, culture and environment of communities along its path.

This special edition of Flyover is possible through a collaboration with New Orleans Public Radio, Iowa Public Radio and MPR News host Kerri Miller. This week-long series will aim to reach all of those who are affected by the Mississippi River – from soybean farmers of the plains to farmers of the sea on shrimp boats along the coasts.

The Mississippi River transports more than 40 percent of the nation’s total agricultural output, and industries tap tens of billions of gallons of fresh water from the river to run their operations. The river provides drinking water for 20 million people in 50 cities, but flooding, runoff from farm fields, and aging infrastructure vex many cities along the river. This program will look at those problems as well as potential solutions.

Flyover from MPR News will broadcast from different locations as the week progresses, working its way down the Mississippi. Miller will begin the journey in St. Paul for the first two days, then head to two states where the river’s watershed looms large: Iowa and Louisiana. Listeners from other states within the river’s watershed will be engaged throughout the week through call-ins and social media.

This special edition of Flyover from MPR News will run noon through 1 p.m. CT each day. Listed below are the themes of each day/location:

Day One, July 16
The conversation starts in the same state the river begins: Minnesota. Kerri Miller will set the tone for the week by discussing the history and culture of the Mighty Mississippi and how it has shaped identity in the heart of the country.

Day Two, July 17
Once the river’s past is established, Tuesday will focus on its future. One issue being debated up and down the Mississippi: who gets to decide how the river is managed?

Day Three, July 18
The show hits the road and broadcasts live with partners at Iowa Public Radio in Iowa City. The discussion will be about the importance of agriculture in the Mississippi watershed and how land use and runoff affect the river.

Day Four, July 19
The conversation flows down to New Orleans. Broadcasting live from WWNO, audiences will hear how this city and other municipalities across the country are grappling with climate change while also working to improve equity and opportunity along the river.

Day Five, July 20
Flyover from MPR News will broadcast a live-to-tape townhall, “Voices from the Bayou,” from deep in Louisiana’s Mississippi River delta. On the last day of the special, the journey will wrap up with a community conversation on solutions to the problems faced by people in the river’s watershed.

Outside of the noon – 1 p.m. CT programming, this special edition of Flyover from MPR News also will feature events:

One Water Summit - Can Water Bridge the Urban-Rural Divide in America?
Partnership with U.S. Water Alliance
Thursday, July 12, 9 – 10:15 a.m.
This panel, taped at the U.S. Water Alliance annual conference, will explore how water divides and unites rural and urban America. While water issues may seem very different between cities and the countryside, urban and rural America also share common ground: preserving water quality, ensuring a reliable water supply, infrastructure needs, affordability, and more.

Public Radio on Tap: A Conversation on Water Quality
Partnership with Iowa Public Radio
Tuesday, July 17, 5 – 8 p.m.
Iowa Public Radio host and reporter Clay Masters will dive into a conversation with Eastern Iowa farmers, a New Orleans shrimper, and other stakeholders from the field of water resources in Iowa, and then open the floor to questions from the audience at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City.

Voices from the Bayou
Partnership with WWNO New Orleans Public Radio
Thursday, July 19, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
We’ll broadcast a live-to-tape townhall from deep in Louisiana’s Mississippi River delta. From the Larose Civic Center in Louisiana, Kerri Miller speaks to a gathering of engineers, educators, shrimpers and others about their ideas, programs and progress for improving quality life along the Mississippi River watershed.


About MPR News
MPR News has long been recognized as one of the foremost journalistic organizations in the Upper Midwest, reaching news consumers across all platforms. Reaching more than 500,000 listeners each week, the MPR News radio signal can be heard by 95 percent of Minnesotans. MPR News has received numerous awards for its reporting, including George Foster Peabody Awards, Alfred I. DuPont Award and RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award. Visit for the latest regional, national and international headlines. 

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio. Data are estimates only.

About The Water Main
The Water Main is an effort from American Public Media to make sense of the central and complex role that water plays in our lives – from our economy, to our well-being, to our food, and even to our cultural and spiritual identities. The Water Main serves as a hub for reporting, research, personal stories, and community engagement. We aim to bring people together across political, cultural, social and economic divides for meaningful connections around water, with a goal of securing clean, abundant water for all.