Joan Galli

"In Minnesota we have one of the greatest river corridors, or flyways, and that's the mighty Mississippi River. It's really a route that wildlife follows as they come and go. Often people think of just the aquatic animals or the organisms that live in the watercourse that follow this route, but it's also important even for the terrestrial and the animals that fly such as the birds follow these river corridors-waterfowl and songbirds, and warblers. For birds in particular, they follow it all the way from the southern end of the United States right on up to the Mississippi, so it's really important that there's habitat or places where these animals can pause along the way. It's not just the big rivers that are important but all the creeks and the streams and the whole network of the water corridors, it serves the same function and wildlife follow them, everything from the raccoons and the muskrats following these corridors. We're lucky that we have a whole string of wildlife refuges and habitats along the river. It's sort of like little jewels on a necklace, all these beautiful important natural areas that are strung along the ribbon of the river, which is the Mississippi River flyway."