The Mississippi river is a enormous river. Its tributaries stretch from Montana to Pennsylvania. Here is a map:
The Mississippi water basin is the third largest in the world and it all drains into the ocean in Louisiana. This is a picture of the gigantic water shed that goes into Canada.
The Mississippi is a beautiful river that supports many riverside towns. But there are also dangers.
The Mississippi River… If you’ve ever seen it, you would probably picture it big, serene, and calm. Most people do. But sometimes that beautiful river, the one that covers half the U.S.A., floods. In 1927, the river did just that. The main reason was the rain that started in the summer of 1926. The floods that started on Christmas Day, 1926 went over all the levees and flooded parts of Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee. That flood was the most destructive river flood in the history of the U.S.A. The Mississippi has its dangers, but its advantages often outweigh the problems. The fishing and cheap, easy to get water makes this a prosperous land, and its amazing wildlife makes the land beautiful.
Around the waters, many animals thrive, invasive species as well as native. Fish, algae, deer, beavers, snakes, turtles, snakes, and even bears live contentedly on its banks. The Mississippi also has a rich history. It has had steamers chugging on it, wars fought on its surface, and many a great dam blocking its flow. The earliest people here were the American Indians. They lived here until the first explorers came here in the mid 1500’s . Those explorers were Spanish and they gave Spain control of the southern Mississippi until the French kicked them out. They owned that area until Napoleon sold the Louisiana property. Then the US colonized the area.
The Mississippi became an easy way to transport goods, supplies, and people. Then, in the Civil War, the Confederate Army used it to transport supplies. Many Union and Confederate ships fought against each other on this river and against forts along the Mississippi’s banks. The Mississippi was in the middle of the Confederate states and, once it was conquered, the Union army, which was led by Ulysses Grant, had an irreplaceable advantage that helped them win the war.
The Mississippi River basin is a giant watershed that covers half the US. Many people use it in their daily lives for work, for fun, and even for transportation. The Mississippi is a beautiful river that has run for generations and has helped humankind since the time of Native Americans. We must care for it, or it may not be there for the generations to come. We can keep garbage out, reduce water pollution, and take care of the animals on its banks.