The Mississippi River
Americas Mighty Mississippi winds 2,340 miles (3,779 kilometers) from its headwaters in Minnesota down to its delta in New Orleans. Stretching to over a mile wide and over 45 feet deep as it dumps into the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi drains the rainwater from the Appalachians to the Rockies and everywhere in between, making it the third–largest river basin in the world. The Big Muddys silty waters leave behind rich and fertile soil that first fueled Americas westward expansion and today supplies the world. As American settlers conquered its waters, national centers of trade and culture, such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans, flourished on the Mississippis banks. But today Old Man River threatens to remind us whos in charge. Pollution and floods threaten the many millions who call the Mississippi River Basin home. Can we learn to live in harmony with Americas Father of Waters?