The Mississippi River has been a source of income, expense and growth for the area of New Orleans. But do you really understand the river itself? Delving into river facts we discovered that there are over 250,000 rivers in the United States that equal roughly to 3.5 million river miles! When talking about the more famous rivers of our nation the Missisippi River is a big topic of discussion. Here are some river tidbits to help you on your next trivia game.
- The anatomy of a river is unique and includes tributarys, headwaters, channels, riverbanks, floodplains, mouth/deltas, and wetlands. To find out more about river anatomy check out http://www.americanrivers.org/about-rivers/river-anatomy.html
- The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles (4,070 km) to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico.
- The Mississippi River is divided into the Upper Mississippi, the Middle Mississippi, and the Lower Mississippi, with the Upper Mississippi upriver of its confluence with the Missouri River, the Middle Mississippi from there downriver to the Ohio River, and the Lower Mississippi from there downriver to the Gulf of Mexico.
- The Mississippi River runs through or along 10 states, from Minnesota to Louisiana, and was used to define portions of these states’ borders, with Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi along the east side of the river, and Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas along its west side.
- The Corps now actively creates and maintains spillways and floodways to divert periodic water surges into backwater channels and lakes, as well as route part of the Mississippi’s flow into the Atchafalaya Basin and from there to the Gulf of Mexico, bypassing Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
- The area of the Mississippi River basin was first settled by hunting and gathering Native American peoples and is considered one the few independent centers of plant domestication in human history.