Pelicans Taking a Rest @ Horseshoe Lake

Spotted -- American White Pelicans - migrating along the Mississippi River flyway. They took a break this week at Horseshoe Lake.  Just downstream from Memphis on the Arkansas side of the River, it's an oxbow lake that was once a meander of the Mississippi River. The "horseshoe" is easy to recognize on the model of the River at Mud Island River Park.

"Father of Environmental Justice" to Speak in Memphis

Twenty years after President Clinton’s Executive Order on Environmental Justice,  Dr. Robert Bullard,  often called the father of the environmental justice movement, will be in Memphis to present the keynote address at the annual environmental justice conference. 

This year the “Community Health, Environmental Justice and Clean Energy—A Community Grassroots Conference”  will be held at the University of Memphis in the University Center on Nov 1st.  Dr. Bullard's address begins at  9 am and will be followed by workshops that include one on "Mississippi River Fishing and River Ecology" and lunch.  

The conference, lunch, and parking in the garage at 505 Zach Curlin Street are free, but you must register ahead of time. To register, contact
or call (901) 324-7757  

For more information on the conference, workshops, and Dr. Bullard, see

Roundabout Link Downtown May Close Bridge for 2 Years

Up on the Bluff are the National Ornamental Metal Museum, Crump Park, U.S. Marine Hospital, Super 8 Motel, Chickasaw Heritage Park,and French Fort Neighborhood. They're south of the "old" bridges in an area that's tricky to reach. Underground, buried beneath the interstate highway, is the once imposing Fort Pickering. In the future is a pedestrian-bike trail across Harahan Bridge to link Memphis and Arkansas.

TN Dept. of Transportation (TDOT) has been working on plans to change the Bridge/I-55/Crump Blvd. interchange and add a roundabout to remedy the confusion and congestion, but last week they revealed that the plan may require shutting down the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge for two years.

According to the TDOT website, the I-55/Crump Boulevard Interchange Improvement Project has gone through the Environmental Phase:
  • March 2009: Complete Preliminary Draft Environmental Statement (DEIS)
  • July 2009: NEPA Hearing
  • August 2009: Review Public Comments
  • November 2009: Decision made to study replacing the existing loop interchange with a roundabout as a way to avoid impacts to the French Fort neighborhood and improve connectivity to Crump Blvd., Riverside Dr., & I-55.
  • June 2010: Public info. meeting held to give the pubic a chance to review and submit comments on the proposed modifications.
  • Sept. 2010: TDOT announced the selection of the alternate plan.
  • January 2012: Environmental Phase of the project concluded. A record of the decision was approved on Jan. 25, 2012.
and is now in the Design Phase, the 4th of 5 stages.

TDOT hopes to let the construction contract by 2014.

Estimated cost of the project: $35.7M, 80% from Federal funds, 20% from State.

Update (10/30/14): TDOT funds cut. Project postponed for a year. Link to Commercial Appeal article.

Baltimore Deals with Litter - Would It work on our Riverfront?

The Memphis River Warriors, along with volunteers from CBU and Bridges, pulled 325 tires out of the McKellar Lake area in Sept. -- 13,000 pounds of trash in all.

The Commercial Appeal reports the 2-year old, $903,000 trash collection system in Wolf River Harbor has broken and needs a $150,000 fix.

Wonder if one of these would work in Memphis - @ McKellar Lake and/or Wolf River Harbor?
As Colton Cockrum, University of Memphis professor and adviser to the River Warriors, says “Eighteen million people get their drinking water from the Mississippi River, and so we have 18 million reasons to do the right thing,”

For more about the solar-powered water wheel, click HERE.