TEN - Breakdown: Why the Mississippi River constantly erodes its banks

The Mississippi River is remarkable because, every day, almost 20 million people in 50 cities depend on it for their drinking water. The rich soils within its vast watershed produce 90% of our country’s farm exports.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Mississippi River is remarkable because, every day, almost 20 million people in 50 cities depend on it for their drinking water. The rich soils within its vast watershed produce 90% of our country’s farm exports.

However, the Mississippi River Delta and coastal Louisiana are disappearing at an astonishing rate: a football field of wetlands vanishes into open water every 100 minutes, according to Restore the Mississippi River Delta.

It carved out its present route to the Gulf about a thousand years ago and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is determined that the meandering river now stay on course.

The Mississippi flows south for more than 2,300 miles to reach the Gulf of Mexico at powerful rate between 200,000 and 700,000 cu. ft. per second. With this force, the river constantly erodes its banks, particularly within the last thousand miles because, unlike upper regions, the lower Mississippi contains no locks or dams. It is uncontrolled flow to the sea.


Read more.