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Below the Surface The Downstream Campaign & The 90-Day Plan UPSTREAM
ACTIONS
in
the
Mississippi
River’s
drainage
basin
are
leading
to
serious
impacts
 downstream.

The
connection
is
clear:
problems
on
our
coasts
do
not
start
there;
in
order
to
 address
water
quality
concerns
in
our
oceans,
we
must
look
upstream
to
the
source
of
the
problem.


 At
present,
the
Mississippi
River
contaminates
the
ocean
more
than
any
other
source
in
the
 United
States.

Nonpoint
pollution
(non‐specific,
collective
contamination)
is
the
prime
culprit.


 Why
wait
for
problems
to
reach
the
coast
when
we
can
prevent
them
upstream?



 THE
90‐DAY
PLAN
is
a
solution
for
all.


Nature
is
incredibly
resilient.

If
we
can
allow
the
river
to
take
care
of
itself
by
cleaning
up
our
act
 for
three
months—the
time
it
takes
for
the
Mississippi
to
travel
from
its
source,
Lake
Itasca,
MN
to
 the
sea—we
could
see
conditions
improve
relatively
quickly.

All
I
am
asking
for
is
90
days.
 I
have
developed
a
comprehensive
approach
for
individuals
to
take
which
will
provide
 solutions
to
water
pollution
nationwide,
upstream
and
down.

The
90‐Day
Plan
is
a
series
of
steps
 for
individuals
to
take
and
choices
to
make
one
day
at
a
time
over
the
course
of
three
months.

 Taking
action
will
enable
the
participant
to
reduce
their
Water
Mark™ 
and
play
a
part
in
cleaning
 up
the
Mississippi
River
and
ultimately
the
ocean.

The
plan
is
nearly
operational;
it
will
be
launched
 on
June
22nd
2009
as
part
of
IL
Governor
Pat
Quinn’s
It’s
Our
River
Day
Celebration.

 Water
Mark:
the
amount
of
nonpoint
water
pollution
produced
by
an
individual.



“Knowledge
of
the
oceans
is
more
than
a
matter
of
curiosity.

Our
very
survival
may
hinge
upon
it.”












 ‐John
F.
Kennedy



Kristian
Anders
Gustavson
is
a
recent
graduate
of
the
 University
of
California
San
Diego
with
a
degree
in
Political
 Science.

His
passion
for
the
water
led
him
to
work
as
a
 lifeguard
and
surf
instructor
while
at
UCSD.

Just
as
water
in
 the
rivers
he
explored
as
a
young
boy
eventually
reached
the
 sea,
Kristian
did
too‐‐he
was
born
in
Bloomington,
IL.
 
 
 The
concept
of
the
Downstream
Campaign
was
inspired
by
a
 journey
two
of
his
uncles,
Bob
and
Greg,
took
when
they
 traveled
the
Mississippi
River
in
1966
by
canoe.

As
a
surfer,
 Kristian
was
exposed
to
a
new
dimension
of
the
water
and
 able
to
make
the
connection
between
upstream
actions
and
 their
downstream
impacts.

Though
he
wanted
to
leisurely
 travel
‘Ole
Miss
firsthand,
he
felt
that
he
could
not
turn
his
 back
on
the
water
due
to
its
degradation.






























































 
 Prior
to
his
spring
of
2008
graduation
from
UCSD,
Gustavson
performed
research
under
the
supervision
of
Professor
 Paul
Dayton
at
the
Scripps
Institution
of
Oceanography
on
how
effluent
from
the
Mississippi
River
contaminates
the
 ocean.


His
conclusion
made
him
aware
of
a
harsh
reality:
the
Mississippi
River‐‐the
most
polluted
river
in
the
US‐‐ carries
more
collective
water
contamination
from
human
activities
(nonpoint
pollution)
to
the
ocean
than
any
other
 source
in
the
country.

In
addition
to
nonpoint
sources,
point
or
specific
sources
are
in
dire
need
of
stricter
regulation
 due
to
frequent
drinking
water
concerns.

These
are
all
serious
issues
and
Kristian
is
prepared
to
go
the
distance
in
 order
to
take
them
on.

The
San
Diego
chapter
of
the
Surfrider
Foundation
helped
to
launch
his
campaign.


BACKGROUND:
The
Downstream
Campaign
 The
journey
that
began
with
a
flood
and
ended
with
a
hurricane:
Gustavson
set
out
from
Cairo,
IL
on
29
June
2008
and
 traveled
over
700
miles
on
the
river
to
Baton
Rouge,
LA
in
less
than
three
weeks.

Flood
conditions
and
river
closures
 altered
his
intended
course,
which
was
to
depart
from
Pekin,
IL.

Kristian’s
father
William
got
onboard
in
Memphis,
TN
 for
the
remainder
of
the
voyage.

His
goal
was
to
reach
New
Orleans,
LA
as
his
uncles
had;
however,
heavy
ship
traffic
 and
strong
currents
prompted
safety
concerns
and
resulted
in
an
early
exit.


 
 In
the
spring
of
2009
he
will
run
the
remainder
of
the
river
from
Baton
Rouge,
LA
to
the
Gulf
of
Mexico;
then
up
the
 Atchafalaya
River
from
the
coast
by
motorboat
if
he
can
raise
the
necessary
funding.

This
would
establish
a
baseline
to
 compare
water
quality
in
the
severely
polluted
portion
of
the
river
dubbed
the
“Cancer
Corridor”
between
Baton
Rouge
 and
New
Orleans
with
the
relatively
pristine
distributary
of
the
Mississippi,
the
Atchafalaya.
 
 The
unfortunate
events
of
Midwestern
floods
and
damage
from
the
active
2008
hurricane
season
demonstrate
how
the
 power
of
water
truly
shapes
our
lives.


In
July
2008,
a
400,000‐gallon
oil
spill
in
the
river
near
New
Orleans,
shows
that
 problems
on
the
river
are
ever‐present
and
illustrated
how
quickly
pollution
flows
downriver.


 
 At
nearly
8,000
square
miles,
NOAA
scientists
have
deemed
the
oxygen‐deficient
“Dead
Zone”
in
the
Gulf
of
Mexico
the
 second
worst
of
all
time.

Oxygen
decline
in
the
world’s
oceans
is
a
serious
threat
to
marine
life
and
there
are
nearly
400
 similar
hypoxic
zones
worldwide.

According
to
Rob
Magnien,
director
of
NOAA’s
Center
for
Sponsored
Coastal
Ocean
 Research,
“reducing
nutrient
pollution
to
protect
coastal
resources
is
one
of
the
greatest
ecosystem
management
 challenges
that
we
face
nation‐wide.”

This
is
a
significant
concern
because
90%
of
marine
life
lives
in
coastal
waters.


The
ultimate
goal
is
to
inform
the
public
that
we
all
live
in
a
coastal
watershed
and
that
our
upstream
actions
have
 serious
downstream
impacts.


He
aims
to
demonstrate
how
we
can
all
make
a
difference
on
an
individual
level
and
that
 there
is
no
time
like
the
present
to
act.

Kristian
is
welcoming
invitations
to
speak
across
the
country
for
this
spring
and
 summer
as
he
travels
throughout
the
Mississippi’s
watershed
taking
water
samples
and
presenting
his
findings.

He
has
 incorporated
a
business,
Below
The
Surface,
as
a
means
to
support
his
efforts.




Redefining
our
Approach—Shifting
Baselines
 Watershed
management
is
a
must,
but
we
must
all
recognize
why
this
is
important.

Ancient
 Hawaiians
fostered
their
respect
for
the
land
and
the
sea
by
caring
for
it
as
a
whole.

The
term
Ahu
 Pua’a
refers
to
the
allocation
practice
that
divided
land
into
sections
extending
from
the
mountain
 to
the
coast.

Implementing
The
90‐Day
Plan
will
lead
to
cleaner
water
because
what
goes
up
must
 come
down.


 Evidence
suggests
that
drastic
changes
to
the
ecological
structure
and
function
of
the
river
 have
been
underway
during
the
last
fifty
years
due
to
anthropogenic
or
human
causes.

The
 Mississippi
is
the
most
polluted
river
in
America
and
it
drains
run‐off
from
almost
half
of
the
 continental
US
(1.2
million
sq
mi).
 Excessive
fertilizer
application
in
the
Midwest
has
led
to
the
over‐enrichment
of
the
 Mississippi
River.
The
formation
of
an
oxygen
deficient
“dead
zone”
in
the
Gulf
of
Mexico
has
 resulted
from
this
type
of
eutrophication.

Habitat
loss
and
overfishing
contribute
to
the
 watershed’s
inability
to
self‐regulate
and
sustain
stable
fish
and
game
populations.

Furthermore,
 invasive
species
are
a
prime
concern,
accounting
for
80%
of
the
river’s
total
biomass.

It
is
widely
 known
that
the
overall
use
of
vehicles
pollutes
the
air
more
than
anything
else;
but
what
is
less
 known
and
perhaps
just
as
startling
is
that
our
everyday
actions
are
THE
prime
source
of
water
 pollution.


 


I realize that there are some tough issues and serious concerns facing our country. I want to lend a hand in strengthening America because what we have and what we have to lose are one in the same.

The
Upstream
Awareness
Tour


An
upstream
surge
of
awareness
and
accountability
to
bring
it
all
together.



 ‐In
the
Spring
of
2009,
I
will
set
out
on
a
nationwide
tour
to
present
my
findings
from
the
expedition
and
my
research
 combined
with
solutions
from
The
90‐Day
Plan.
 ‐To
track
people
onboard,
I
will
have
a
web‐based
monitoring
system
matched
with
forums
for
discussion
and
a
blog
of
 my
travels.
 ‐I
have
been
gathering
footage
for
a
documentary
of
the
journey,
my
experience,
and
our
road
ahead.
 ‐My
goal
is
to
give
presentations
at
all
the
Big
12
schools
and
to
at
least
10
other
universities
in
the
Midwest
and
South.
 ‐I
will
introduce
Stand
Up
Paddle
Surfing
on
lakes
and
rivers
along
the
way;
experience
in
the
water
builds
the
 appreciation
of
it
and
leads
to
better
conservation
efforts,
plus
its
fun.
 ‐I
will
continue
to
meet
with
conservation
organizations
and
representatives
to
discuss
local
issues
and
better
 understand
the
overall
health
of
our
nation’s
waterways.
 ‐I
will
continue
to
promote
the
Surfrider
Foundation
and
I
would
like
to
meet
with
as
many
chapters
as
possible
across
 the
US.
 ‐I
will
keep
a
travel
log
in
print
and
online
as
a
means
of
accountability.
 ‐
To
promote
energy
independence,
I
will
travel
in
a
pick‐up
truck
that
runs
on
waste
vegetable
oil
(WVO)
&
Biodiesel.
 ‐This
campaign
has
the
potential
to
reach
thousands,
maybe
more;
I
intend
to
go
big
and
for
as
long
as
it
takes!



We
All
Live
Downstream
 The
Mississippi
River
has
always
symbolized
the
American
way
of
life.

If
the
Midwest
is
the
 Heartland,
then
the
Mississippi
is
this
country’s
pulse
and
primary
vessel.

What
do
current
 reflections
in
the
water
indicate?

 
 America’s
oceans
cover
4.5
million
square
miles—encompassing
23%
more
area
than
our
land.

The
 Mississippi
River
drains
nearly
half
of
our
land
into
the
Gulf
of
Mexico,
carrying
with
it
1.5
million
 metric
tons
of
Nitrogen‐based
fertilizer
every
year.

This
type
of
run‐off
has
increased
5X’s
since
the
 1950’s
and
is
a
significant
form
of
nonpoint
pollution.

As
a
result,
over
60%
of
coastal
rivers
and
 bays
in
the
US
suffer
from
eutrophication
and
hypoxia
(this
is
seen
in
nearly
every
coastal
state).

 This
must
change
because
oxygen
levels
in
oceans
worldwide
are
drastically
decreasing
and
we
have
 nearly
forty
confirmed
“dead
zones”
nationwide.

 
 Collectively,
oil
from
streets
and
driveways
is
equal
to
one
Exxon‐Valdez
spill
(11
million
gallons)
 every
eight
months.

Our
appetite
for
seafood
from
the
Gulf
of
Mexico
has
encouraged
destructive
 fishing
practices;
on
average
Bycatch,
or
the
unintended
landing
of
a
non‐target
species,
comprises
 25%
of
the
catch
and
is
typically
discarded.

Just
as
habitat
loss
on
land
is
the
main
cause
of
 extinction,
the
same
goes
for
the
water
and
its
surroundings.

For
instance,
wetlands
in
the
US
are
 vanishing
at
a
rate
of
over
60,000
acres
per
year.

Unfortunately,
conditions
in
the
Mississippi
River
 and
the
Gulf
of
Mexico
represent
why
similar
water
quality
concerns
exist
worldwide.
 
 Just
because
our
actions
ripple
out
of
sight,
they
should
never
be
out
of
mind—Parishes
along
the
 river
between
Baton
Rouge,
LA
and
New
Orleans,
LA
that
draw
drinking
water
from
the
Mississippi
 have
been
called
The
Cancer
Corridor
by
ecologists
because
they
have
the
highest
rates
of
G.I.
tract
 cancers
in
the
US.

We
have
a
responsibility
to
our
neighbors
downstream;
half
of
the
US
lives
on
or
 near
the
coast,
but
all
of
us
live
within
a
watershed.
 


*


*
This
needs
to
be
your
new
map



Be the Solution Within
every
challenge
exists
an
opportunity
 The
beauty
of
the
water,
sand,
and
 waves
can
obscure
lurking
dangers
 below
the
surface.

The
connection
 between
our
actions
on
land
and
 subsequent
impacts
in
the
water
is
 clear.

Our
ability
to
correct
the
 damage
done
is
directly
proportional
 to
our
will
to
do
so.

The
significance
 of
where
the
river
meets
the
sea
must
 not
be
taken
for
granted.


We
have
created
these
problems;
we
can
 solve
them.

Too
often,
individuals
 wonder
how
much
their
participation
 really
matters.

That
is
no
longer
the
 question,
but
the
answer.

What
if
making
 a
change
meant
taking
a
chance?

Change
 usually
means
trying
something
new
or
 looking
at
the
same
thing
in
a
different
 way;
but
if
it
meant
doing
the
right
thing,
 would
you
still
take
the
chance
to
make
 the
change?


Contact Information Kristian Anders Gustavson

Mobile: 760.277.3503 Email: Kristian@belowthesurface.org ©
2008
Below
the
Surface




The Downstream Campaign