Mississippi River Research Paper

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Coastal wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate, especially in Louisiana, the problem is most of the society does not realize the magnitude of this disaster and the true value of these precious wetlands. Louisiana is a very young and fragile state. Louisiana has always relied on the nutrient rich deposits from the Mississippi River to build up the land. For thousands of years, the Mississippi River periodically changed its course, swerving and snaking around, building new grounds in Louisiana, one delta at a time. The erosional forces of the Gulf and a number of annual hurricanes would trash and deteriorate Louisiana’s coastline, but the Mississippi River would come in and save the day by replenishing the land losses. This natural process…show more content…
Many factors have led to the delta's collapse, equally influenced by humans and Mother Nature. One of the main culprits in the deteriorations of the modern Mississippi deltaic plain is levees. In attempts to “control” the Mississippi River, as a party of a national program, there were huge amounts of levees built in order to protect communities and farmlands from extreme flooding. We have been successful in providing flood protection, but we disrupted the natural process of delta building by the means of settling sediment. As a result, all the nutrient-rich sediments that are required for growing land are being carried straight out into the Gulf of Mexico, rather than playing their nature-intended role in building coastal wetlands. Streever described this process best, “The Mississippi River was spewing its sediment load into the abyss. No new marshes were being built. The Old River Control Project had saved New Orleans and Baton Rouge, but it had broken the cycle of deltaic death and birth.” Controlling the Mississippi took its tool on the existing wetlands by stopping the cycle of new growth. Without new deposits, these wetlands began to sink beneath the

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