The Sweet Spot

 It’s June, and the Mississippi River is still unusually high, but here in the Lower Mississsippi, we seemed to be in the sweet spot. ‘The Sweet Spot’ – photo by Tanner Aljets The Missouri River is causing havoc throughout the Eastern Midwest with flooding in the upper Mississippi Valley, while the Arkansas River is pushing tons of water into the Mississippi River above Greenville, MS. We have beautiful...

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Multi-Benefits of Natural Infrastructure

Natural infrastructure, or green infrastructure refers to natural river system elements like wetlands, marshes, swamps, and floodplains. The ground in these areas resembles a spongy texture, that allows water to be absorbed. Natural infrastructures are typically managed to ensure biodiversity, ensure quality water, and floodwater retention. Building levees, dams, homes, and businesses in a floodplain modifies the River in various ways,...

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More Action for the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan

The Gulf Hypoxia Task Force met in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 16. It was a gathering with some historical significance. The Task Force, composed of states along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and key federal agencies, last met in that city in October 2000, when the participants signed the first version of the Action Plan for Reducing Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. Nutrient pollution in the Gulf of Mexico caused by runoff from about 40...

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The Muddy & Flood-y Mississippi River

Drone footage provided by Alex Fisher The powerful energy our river provides is often underestimated until the waters begin to rise. The beginning of our spring proved this to be true, contributing to record flooding in Nebraska, and challenging historic levels in Iowa. Where I am located, in Alton, Illinois, we are looking to crest at 35.5 feet on May 4, which is just seven feet shy of our record crest in 1993, 42.2 feet. Hoses line...

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The Lower Mississippi’s Meandering Miles

Words by Mark River Photos by Keith Benoist “Pasted Graphic” — photo by Keith Benoist There are many iconic natural wonders in this world that have been explored, documented, and conquered by many walks of life. These wild places are disappearing rapidly, though: some by depletion and exploitation of resources, some by expansion of industry; and some have been turned into tourist attractions, losing their energy and...

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One River, Trillions of Tributaries

Trillions of tributaries have made themselves known as the transition to Spring is in full effect across the Mississippi River watershed. From the Western boundary of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians in the East and as far North as Minnesota; water is flowing in innumerable of ways down-gradient (downhill) on a path to the Southernmost point of the watershed- the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Every river in the Mississippi...

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Keep the Connections in the Clean Water Act

by Kelly McGinnis, Director of the Mississippi River Network America’s longest river flows for 2300 miles, from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. But the Mississippi’s central channel is part of a larger system that includes tributaries like the Illinois River, along with streams, wetlands, oxbow lakes, aquifers, and estuaries. This river system involves surface and subsurface water flows that help meet the varied needs of our society:...

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