Various air and water pollution issues in the US were confronted in the last 60 years using national policy legislation, notably the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act . I examine changes in the concentrations of bacteria, oxygen, lead, and sulphate at the terminus of the Mississippi River before and after these pollution abatement efforts . Microbial concentrations increased or were stable from 1909 to 1980 but decreased about 3 orders of magnitude after the 1970s, while the average oxygen content increased . A large decline in lead concentration occurred after the 1960s, along with a less dramatic decline in sulphate concentrations . The pH of the river dropped to a low of 5.8 in 1965 as sulfur dioxide emissions peaked and averaged 8.2 in 2019 after emissions declined . Decades of efforts at a national scale created water quality improvements and are an example for addressing new and existing water quality challenges.
Index: Historical, Mississippi River, Monitoring, Policy, Pollution, Water quality