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 Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest drainage system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States (though its drainage basin reaches into Canada), it rises in northern Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles (4,070 km) to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and tenth largest river in the world. The river either borders or cuts through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.


Native Americans long lived along the Mississippi and its tributaries. Most were hunter-gatherers or herders, but some, such as the Mound builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 1500s changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. The river served first as barrier – forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States – then as vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of Manifest Destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States.


Formed from thick layers of this river's silt deposits, the Mississippi River Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country, which resulted in the river's storied steamboat era. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory because of the river's importance as a route of trade and travel, not least to the Confederacy. Because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that supplanted riverboats, the decades following the 1900s saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination.


Since modern development of the basin began, the Mississippi has also seen its share of pollution and environmental problems – most notably large volumes of agricultural runoff, which has led to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone off the Delta. In recent years, the river has shown a steady shift towards the Atchafalaya River channel in the Delta; a course change would prove disastrous to seaports such as New Orleans. A system of dikes and gates has, so far, held the Mississippi at bay but, due to fluvial processes, the shift becomes more likely each year.

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updated Sat. March 31, 2018

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Her husband, Blake, drives 30 miles south to work with minimal traffic, while Emily travels 10 miles to LSU, across the heavily-trafficked Mississippi River Bridge. The good news: She can depart Interstate 10 at the first exit off the bridge, avoiding the dreaded I-10/I-110 merger. For those who work at LSU ...
FILE PHOTO: A towboat pushes a load of coal through the icy waters of the Mississippi River on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 ... Corps officials this week said that 25 levee systems, primarily along the Mississippi River, are built to proper heights, based on survey efforts conducted over the past year. Seven of ... St. Louis

When communities boost their flood protections, they push additional flood risk onto their neighbors. A new analysis of government data shows how levee districts that have raised their levees without federal permits would be better protected against future flooding, while those that follow the rules ...
The final 20 bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway will be closed Friday (March 30) as the Mississippi River continues to drop and its downriver flow decreases, the Army Corps of Engineers announced. The flood protection structure was opened for 22 days to relieve pressure on river levees in New ...
RICE -- Boaters will still be able to access the Mississippi River above the Sartell dam in August, but they'll have to look out for rocks and logs tossed or exposed in a drawdown of the water level. A planned three-foot drawdown of the Sartell Pool and Little Rock Lake will affect more than 800 ...
... getting ready for a day on the river. Instead of bathing suits, these spring breakers are decked out in knee-high rubber boots and faded life jackets. They're part of the Living Lands & Waters river cleanup crew and for a week, they'll spend their days pulling trash from the Mississippi River near Grafton, ...

CAIRO, IL — The U.S. 60/62 Mississippi River bridge at Cairo, Illinois, will be closed starting Monday, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Closures are scheduled for the bridge starting 8 a.m. Monday, March 26, though 12 p.m. on March 30. After that, more closures are scheduled from 8 ...
The spillway control structure has 350 gated bays, each holding 20 timber "needles" that act as a dam against the Mississippi River. Corps officials had said they anticipated opening about half of the bays in order to keep the river's current flow below 1.25 million cubic feet per second. A flow rate above that ...
At the center of Perrot State Park, Trempealeau Mountain is much more mound-like than mountainous. Five other mounds in the park are taller and are more aptly dubbed bluffs. Mountain or not, the steep-sided, 425-foot-tall formation is a landmark along the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin, the ...
The 64′ towing vessel Natalie Jean that sank in the vicinity of mile marker 90.5 on March 12 in the Mississippi River at New Orleans has been located, according to the Corps of Engineers. “It was located on March 12 but nothing was disclosed because officials didn't want to interfere with recovery efforts,” ...
A tugboat that sank in the Mississippi River near Chalmette last week, leading to an unsuccessful search for two of its crewmembers, has been located, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Conditions on the river, whose currents were stronger than usual as it crested last week, remain too ...
(WLBT) Some homes near the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers are left completely under water as the Mississippi hits its crest of nearly 50 feet, seven feet above flood stage. “The soil here is some of the richest in this part of the country but it is rich because it is flooded on a regular basis, but then every year or ...
With the Mississippi River expected to crest at 50.2 feet in two days, water and emergency management leaders are keeping a close eye on some areas as they approach record levels. Waters surrounding the levee or the "backwater" is reaching levels, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace says they haven't ...
Memphis has been pumping sewage water into the Mississippi River temporarily over the last few days because of a pump failure at a wastewater treatment plant. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson talks with Commercial Appeal reporter Tom Charlier (@thomasrcharlier) about what caused the problem and ...
LINCOLN COUNTY, MO — The Missouri Highway Water Patrol and investigators are on the scene of a body found in a submerged vehicle in the Mississippi River. The Florissant Police Department says they were notified Friday afternoon by the Missouri Highway Patrol that a vehicle registered to Barbara ...
Rain on Friday and then again later this weekend into Monday will not have an impact in the Memphis metro area on the Mississippi River, officials said. Last week, the Mississippi River measured 39.34 feet on the Memphis gauge — more than 5 feet above flood stage after several inches of rain in the area ...
The town later boomed as a river port with a legacy of historic neighborhoods, a grand gold-domed county courthouse, revived riverfront warehouses, and historic boatbuilding structures on the harbor that became part of the National Mississippi River Museum. At the museum, kids explore an outdoor ...

U.S. Coast Guard officials identified two men missing from a tugboat that sank Monday in the Mississippi River. Malon Dawsey and Karl Prince are still missing, officials said Tuesday. Advertisement. A third person, whose name was not released, was rescued from the boat people on board the vessel Earl ...
Mississippi River now 16.54 feet. 68 bays of the Spillway are open. There are 12 seepage points from laplace to the Mouth of the River. 7 are in the Metro area. The Corps of Engineers reports All are low threat. Mostly sunny skies forecast Tuesday through Thursday. Cold mornings are forecast with the ...
The search continues for the two men missing from a tugboat that sank in the Mississippi River near Chalmette Monday (March 12), who were named by the U.S. Coast Guard Tuesday afternoon. Malon Dawsey and Karl Prince remain missing as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to a U.S. Coast Guard ...
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Klipsch said the Mississippi River cities group has met with lawmakers, as well as with potential sources of private investment. Much of what the group is doing, Klipsch said, is stressing the area's priorities and their value. "It's just a matter of keep putting it on front ...
The Coast Guard responded to a capsized vessel on the Lower Mississippi River near Donaldsonville, La., Saturday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 9:30 p.m. that the towing vessel Vincent J Eymard capsized near mile marker 175 on the Mississippi. The crew ...
The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) expect the lower Mississippi River to again rise above Phase I activation levels in the northern portion of the District by the end of March. This could cause flooding in some areas. According to the Memphis District: Significant rainfall is ...
The Mississippi River—it's a big deal, OK? The combined ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans move more cargo, ton for ton, than any other US port. So figuring out the Mississippi's hydrodynamics—the way its water, silt, and sand ebb and flow—matters. Matters so much, in fact, that Louisiana has ... economic crisis
According to SIUC, the 115-pound female fish was caught on Thursday, February 8 by commercial fishers on the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Mo. SIU manages a program funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that pays commercial fishers for black carp that they catch and turn ... economic crisis
According to the Coast Guard, watch standers at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from the National Response Center at about 12:30 a.m. that a potential maximum of 4200 gallons of fuel oil was released into the lower Mississippi River at the Pine Oaks Terminal. Coast Guard incident ... economic crisis
Today's Mississippi River has existed for only a few hundred years ” a blip in geological time. The river is constantly eroding channels in some places and dropping sediment in others, causing its path to wander. Over the millennia, the river has reached the Gulf through St. Bernard Parish and via what are ... economic crisis
Coast Guard incident management teams were on site and conducting flights over the area to assess the impact of the spill. It was not immediately known whether the spill required parish officials to close water intake valves located along the river. St. John Parish draws water from the Mississippi River to ... economic crisis
NEW ORLEANS- The Coast Guard responded to an oil spill in the Mississippi River, about 40 miles upriver from New Orleans. WWL-TV reports, that officials received a report from the National Response Center shortly around 12:30 a.m. Sunday that a potential maximum of 4,200 gallons of fuel oil was ... economic crisis
Interstate 90 heading east between La Crosse and Tomah could experience more traffic if a lock and dam were to fail on the Mississippi River. ... A new study suggests the failure of any one of 25 aging locks on the upper Mississippi River could result in nearly a half-million truckloads of freight on highways ... economic crisis
MADISON, Wis. — A recent study by Wisconsin researchers suggests that the failure of any of the 25 aging locks on the upper Mississippi River could lead to an increase of nearly half a million truckloads of freight on highways between Minnesota and Missouri. The study by researchers at the University of ... economic crisis
Water from the Mississippi River roars through the Old River Control Structure toward the Atchafalaya Basin in Concordia Parish on May 17, 2011. The gates were opened to help relieve rising floodwaters from the Mississippi. The action threatened to flood parts of Terrebonne, Assumption and St. Mary ... economic crisis
Study: Mississippi River shutdown could cost millions, put hundreds more trucks on I-90 ... MADISON — A new study suggests the failure of any one of 25 aging locks on the upper Mississippi River could result in nearly a half-million truckloads of freight on highways between the Twin Cities and St. Louis. economic crisis
Today's Mississippi River has existed for only a few hundred years — a blip in geological time. The river is constantly eroding channels in some places and dropping sediment in others, causing its path to wander. Over the millennia, the river has reached the Gulf through St. Bernard Parish and via what are ... economic crisis
I was spinning in a circle at 30 miles per hour over the Mississippi River when I noticed the bus. It looked like it was driving in slow motion across the Hennepin Avenue bridge. Who is on it? Can they see me? The brain takes peculiar snapshots in the 30 seconds it has to process jetting through midair on a ... economic crisis
A man became stranded on an island in the Mississippi River near St. Louis Friday afternoon after his boat drifted away, prompting a rescue mission that brought him safely back to the mainland a few hours later. The Madison Fire Department received a call alerting them to a man stranded on Mosenthein ... economic crisis
ST. LOUIS – Firefighters in eastern Missouri have rescued a man stranded on an island in the Mississippi River near St. Louis after his boat drifted away. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Madison Fire Department received a call alerting them to a man stranded on Mosenthein Island shortly before ... economic crisis
SAVANNA — The Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a birding tour into the closed area of Lost Mound on Feb. 17. Participants should meet at 12:45 p.m. at the Lost Mound office parking lot, 3159 Crim Road. The van will leave promptly at 1 p.m. ... economic crisis
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - 01/24/2018 - Officials look where the towboat "Virginia Renee" sank with 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel at Hickman Landing on the Mississippi River near Blytheville, January 24, 2018. Booms and absorbent pads were being used to limit the spread of oil in the area, according to ... economic crisis
Every summer, the Gulf of Mexico is flooded with excess nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater treatment plants and farm fields along the Mississippi River basin. And every summer, those nutrients create a "dead zone" in the Gulf. To address the issue, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formed ... economic crisis
Illinois resident Brian Woolman captured video of two bald eagles floating on ice along the Mississippi River in Gladstone. The video was recorded in December 2017 and shared to Facebook on January 19. Woolman is a nature enthusiast and frequently posts videos of wildlife in Illinois to his photography Facebook page, ... economic crisis
VICKSBURG, Miss. — The Coast Guard says an engine room fire on a tugboat restricted traffic overnight on a five-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, but the restrictions were lifted Thursday morning. A news release says the George King's nine crew members all escaped safely after reporting the engine ... economic crisis
Robert Stout, chief of policy for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, conducted the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association meeting at the Ste. ... While entities dealing with flood prevention and other Mississippi River-related issues below the confluence of the Ohio River are organized into a ... economic crisis
The box that Joe DiJanni found on the banks of the Mississippi River was not filled with treasure. DiJanni, a pilot from Michigan, was in Tennessee with his wife, Dianna, for a wedding. It was early October, and the weather was pleasant enough. They took a stroll on Mud Island, in Memphis, and found, ... economic crisis
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Plans to build a new Chain of Rocks Bridge will be discussed at a public meeting Wednesday afternoon in Granite City. A new bridge is still a ways off, but the Illinois Department of Transportation has determined that it needs to be built. Now citizens can have their say on the proposal. economic crisis
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Eastern Iowa is seeing the annual return of bald eagles, attracting area residents and tourists alike. The raptors hunt over open water. So, as other rivers ice over, the eagles return to open waters along the Mississippi River in the Davenport area, an annual event that also draws ... economic crisis
Ellen Kolbo McDonah traveled the length of the Mississippi River on her kayak in 2014, bringing along a sketchbook and painting supplies. ... The sketch eventually became an 16-by-20 oil painting titled “Superman on the Mississippi River,” one of many pieces created during her 107-day, 2,300-plus-mile ... economic crisis
Bald Eagles Return to Eastern Iowa Along Mississippi River. Eastern Iowa is seeing the annual return of bald eagles, attracting area residents and tourists alike. Jan. 14, 2018, at 11:23 a.m.. Bald Eagles Return to Eastern Iowa Along Mississippi River ... economic crisis
Researchers found that 37 percent of the drainage area of the U.S. is getting significantly saltier. Ryan Utz / Chatham University. A new study shows waterways across the country are getting saltier — including the Mississippi River. That has implications for the ecosystem and for drinking water. The salt ... economic crisis


 

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Mississippi River