Snapshots of Life Along the Mississippi River

The source of the Mississippi River, Lake Itasca, is a spring-fed bowl-shaped basin of lakes and bogs deep in the pine forests of northern Minnesota. Buses may sometimes disgorge groups of people to gawk at the spot where the mythical river emerges from the lake. In spite of the crowds at the source of the

By | April 21st, 2011|Mississippi River Facts|4 Comments

Floods Along the Mississippi River

High water along the Mississippi (as well as periods of very low water) is part of the river’s natural cycle and a necessary one to sustain the variety of life in its ecosystem and to replenish ground water. In most years, river levels peak in spring with runoff from melting snow and early spring rains,

By | March 11th, 2011|Mississippi River Facts|4 Comments

Flora and Fauna

Flora The Upper Mississippi Valley has a wide variety of plant life in a narrow area. At river level, plants that tolerate a lot of moisture flourish: trees such as willow, elm, sycamore, maple, river birch, as well as water lilies, lotuses, sedges, and pondweeds. Further uphill, trees like oak, hickory, and walnut predominate. A

By | March 5th, 2011|Mississippi River Facts|0 Comments

River Geology

The Mississippi River begins in northern Minnesota and travels about 2,350 miles before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. Thirty percent of its length is in Minnesota. Measurements of the river’s length vary depending upon when they were taken. Before the river was channelized for navigation, the Mississippi would regularly cut new paths and abandon

By | March 5th, 2011|Mississippi River Facts|2 Comments