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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 Mon. July 4, 2022

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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 or ...
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 the ...

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 would ...
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 Orleans ...
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 properties ...
... 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 of ...
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 ...


 

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cross-references for
mississippi:

Mississippi River