Mississippi Flood update: Morganza Spillway opening imminent

Enlarge map The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is poised to open the fourth and final major floodway on the Mississippi River to ease pressure on levees and save populated areas from record-breaking floods. To begin relieving the flooding, the Bonnet Carré Spillway was opened on May 9th. But the opening of the Bonnet Carré… Read more »

Room for Rivers: Community Snapshots of Natural Defenses in Action

America’s Most Endangered Rivers for 2011 Is your river on the list? Sign up to be the first to learn about America’s Most Endangered Rivers. * First Name: * Last Name: * Email: ZIP: Yes! I want to learn more about issues affecting our nation’s rivers. Spam Control Text: As floods spread south along the… Read more »

Mississippi floods: the Year of the River

Several months ago, American Rivers dubbed 2011 The Year of the River because of the exciting and unprecedented dam removal projects coming up. The river restoration on Washington’s Elwha and White Salmon are ones for the history books. But now we have another history-making event in the works: record flooding of the Mississippi River. We… Read more »

History Repeating Itself

In an NBC interview on the Mississippi River flooding, Andrew Fahlund, senior vice president of Conservation for American Rivers, talks about history repeating itself as we lose more wetlands and floodplains and as more people are being put in harm’s way. 4 million live in flood zone areas. Over 35 million acres of wetlands have… Read more »

What Can We Learn From the Mississippi River Flooding?

When the US Army Corps of Engineers blew the levee at Birds Point and the New Madrid Floodway, it sparked a heated debate. We can ask whether this particular by-pass was a idea or not, but that decision was made 80 years ago, right or wrong. One thing is for sure in a changing climate —… Read more »

The Consequences of Controlling a River Course

America’s Rivers Are At Risk This year’s flooding spotlights some of the challenges that our rivers are facing. On May 17th, we’re announcing the newest America’s Most Endangered Rivers. Sign up to find out how you can get involved. * First Name: * Last Name: * Email: ZIP: Yes! I want to protect my rivers… Read more »

Rivers Aren’t a Problem to be Solved

[Part 2 of a series on the floods in the Midwest – read part 1 here] Throughout much of American history, rivers have been treated as problems that must be “solved” through large scale and expensive engineering projects. The result? Rivers have been clogged with dams, straightened, channelized, and cut off from their floodplains by… Read more »

Levee Breach Shows Importance of Natural Floodplains for Public Safety

On Monday, the US Army Corps of Engineers made the difficult decision to intentionally breach a levee on the middle Mississippi River. Dynamiting the Birds’ Point Levee routed floodwaters into 130,000 acres of agricultural land on the New Madrid Floodway in nearby Missouri and away from the 2,800 residents of Cairo, Illinois. Yesterday’s event activated… Read more »