Become a Mississippi River Sustainer and help protect the river for the next generation

Young child is playing with rocks along the bank of the Mississippi River

Photo by Tom Reiter.

FMR Mississippi River Sustainers ensure the health of the river with recurring monthly contributions. This convenient way to support FMR provides ongoing, reliable revenue to help protect, restore and enhance the mighty Mississippi. 

One of FMR’s River Sustainers is long-time donor, volunteer and Mississippi River Legacy Society member Fred Bertschinger. Raised in an Iowa town along the banks of the Mississippi, Fred frequently viewed the river from bluffs or the bridge high above it. 

“I have fond childhood memories of hearing the calliope playing on the Delta Queen and walking more than a mile with my family to see her as she paddled upstream through the lock. I spent many contented hours fishing with my father downstream from a nearly mile-wide dam.  Sunday afternoons in the fall we watched wave after wave of ducks and geese come down the flyway and rafts of waterfowl resting on the big bend in the river,” Fred shared.  

“I am now able to do more things to improve the riverway. I am pleased to give both my physical and financial support to help protect and restore the Mississippi,” Fred shared, “I opt to be a sustaining member because supporting FMR is not a choice to be decided annually. My support will continue perpetually as long as I am able. John Muir's thought is apt — the rivers flow not past, but through us.”

How it works

Each month, FMR will charge your credit or debit card the amount you specify. And you can cancel or change your sustaining membership at any time.

Simply visit and select the option "I'd like to become a Sustaining Member by making this donation a recurring monthly gift."

What your ongoing support can do

On an annual basis your sustaining gift has a tangible impact on the health of the river, for example:

  • $5.00 monthly gift could provide FMR volunteer river stewards two pairs of loppers and six pairs of gloves to remove invasive species from restoration sites, helping improve the health of the Mississippi River by transforming surrounding land back to its natural state.
  • $10.00 monthly gift could purchase and plant 10 bur oaks to help restore the Mississippi River’s watershed. These trees provide a healthy habitat for wildlife and create a beautiful space for all to recreate and relax.    
  • $15.00 monthly gift could provide a storm drain stenciling presentation and hands-on outing for two elementary school classrooms, raising awareness of the direct link between stormwater runoff and river pollution and helping cultivate the next generation of river stewards.
  • $25.00 monthly gift could purchase and plant three pounds of diverse, native prairie seed. Deep prairie root systems help filter pollutants from runoff water and provide important habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
  • $50.00 monthly gift could present a community watershed workshop packed with information about lawn care, rain gardens, native landscaping and other topics that help people protect the Mississippi River. And a hands-on, rain barrel workshop which provides participants with the watershed-friendly benefits of rain barrels followed by the opportunity to assemble their own rain barrel to take home.

Please consider joining FMR's Mississippi River Sustainers to help us protect the mighty Mississippi with your ongoing support.