River Action is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the environmental, economic, and cultural vitality of the Mississippi River and its riverfront in the Quad Cities region in northwest Ilinois and southeastern Iowa. River Action encourages greater access to the riverfront, builds and expands riverfront recreation trails, protects endangered habitat, and cleans up the river.
The restored habitats feature a diversity of native wildflowers and grass that attract a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, butterflies, turtles, and frogs.
Within McKnight’s Mississippi River program, River Action received a general operating grant in support of their work to improve the health of the Mississippi River and its surrounding land. McKnight’s Mississippi River program supports efforts to restore and protect floodplains and wetlands in the 10-state Mississippi River corridor, and the reduction of agricultural pollution in four states along the northern half of the river, focusing on farmland and operations with high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous runoff.
River Action partnered with the city of Moline, Illinois to restore more than 30 acres of degraded wetland between the Greenvalley Sports Complex and the Rock River, a major tributary of the Mississippi. With partial funding from the EPA through the Clean Water Act, the project transformed two drainage ditches and a field of invasive plants into naturally meandering streams, emergent wetland, sedge meadow, and wet prairie. The restored habitats feature a diversity of native wildflowers and grass that attract a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, butterflies, turtles, and frogs. The area also has a trail network, complete with interpretive signage, boardwalks, and elevated platforms.
River Action has a 25-year history with strong, local support and a focus on networking. In two states and two counties, River Action works with 12 communities along both sides of a 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River. They have taken up the call to bring natural areas in the Quad Cities region to the attention of its communities and to foster ecotourism to these amazing resources.