Mississippi River Water Walk travels through Guttenberg - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mississippi River Water Walk travels through Guttenberg

Sharon Day during the Mississippi River Water Walk Sharon Day during the Mississippi River Water Walk

Friday marked World Water Day, drawing attention to what organizers call the global water crisis.

Issues range from low water quality and shortages in developing nations to pollution right here in the U.S.

To draw attention to the pollution in the Mississippi River, a group of people have embarked on what's called the "Mississippi River Water Walk," born of Native American tradition.

They walked through Guttenberg Friday.

"The Mississippi River Water Walk is a walk of healing and hope for the Mississippi River," organizer Sharon Day said. "The Mississippi is the second-most polluted river in the United States, and we hope to pray for the water and also create awareness for the river as we go."

Group members take turns walking with a bucket of water taken March 1 from the Mississippi River headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn.

"We're taking that clear, pure water all the way down to the Gulf and giving the Mississippi a drink of herself, (saying) 'This is the way that you started and this is the way that we hope that you will become again,'" Day said.

In the walker's other hand is a staff with eagle feathers.

"The eagle is very revered in our culture," Day said. "They say the eagle is the messenger and also has great vision, and so that eagle feather staff protects that water vessel."

More than a walk to the Gulf of Mexico, it's a journey for future generations.

"Every one of us has responsibility, because whatever we put in our drain, whatever we put on our lawn, is going to end up in the Mississippi," Day said.

The group hopes to reach the Gulf of Mexico by late April.

You can track the group's progress here or contact them at their Facebook page here. They say anybody is welcome to join them on the walk.

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