She is kayaking The Mississippi From Source to Mouth

Alyssum Pohl is kayaking the entire length of the Mississippi River for research.

That is right, Alyssum is paddling the 2500 or so miles of the Mississippi River to educate people about water quality in Americas rivers, lakes and Oceans.  She is a 2004 biology graduate and she will also document our impact on the river as she paddles her way through 10 States. Her findings will be shared with the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and used for authoring future articles she intends to write.

Naturally this is a large undertaking on her part. It would be easy fro us to assume it is more of a vacation for her, but I assure it isn’t. She maintains a blog where she shares her daily experience  throughout the trip. You can find her blog “Paddle On1! at this link

Read on for more details about her kayaking journey below

It was day seven, and the exhaustion was about to set in. Alyssum Pohl was in her tent hopelessly trying to sleep while a group of drunken twentysomethings spent the night shooting guns and yelling just outside.

With no sleep and more than 20 miles to paddle, it was a safe bet that the next day was going to be a long one.

Mud, mosquitoes and more than 2,500 miles of water separate this Lexington native and University of Kentucky graduate from her goal of kayaking the entire Mississippi River.

Pohl, a 2004 biology grad and former Gaines Fellow, began her source-to-sea trip June 27 in Lake Itasca, Minn., and will take about three months to arrive at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans.

The journey, in addition to being the adventure of a lifetime, is an effort to educate people about water quality in America’s lakes, rivers and oceans. Pohl will take water samples, document litter and help clean up beaches along the way. She’ll submit some of her data to the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, and she’ll use some of it to write scholarly articles. She’ll also share the data with each of the 10 states she travels through, including Kentucky.

Read the full story of her journey here on

Watch the following to get a better glimpse of what the trip is like.


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