Traffic at the mouth of the Mississippi stopped Friday as coastal Louisiana prepares for a possible strike by Tropical Storm Karen, which is churning in the Gulf of Mexico.
Karen is forecast to hit the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm. A hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle to west of Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning was issued from Grand Isle to the mouth of the Pearl River, including the New Orleans area.
The first Mighty Mississippi Downriver Festival will take place at the French Market and the Old U.S. Mint this Saturday, September 14. Among the many presentations during the day-long event will be one from a man who has plied the mighty Mississippi for 60 years.
On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Captain Clarke Hawley, who has spent most of his working life on board paddlewheel steamboats.
If there is one underlying justification for Louisiana’s $50 billion Master Plan for coastal restoration, it’s this: We actually have a chance to prevent Southeast Louisiana from drowning in the Gulf, because the Mississippi River carries the sediment necessary to keep pace with sea level rise.
Even with New Orleans' roaring tourist biz, oil and gas industry, and the new business renaissance, the Mississippi River remains the heart of the city's economy. President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans Gary LaGrange and CFO and Treasurer of Canal Barge Doug Downing take us behind the floodwall and onto the water.
Let’s imagine it is the Spring of 2025, and Louisiana is preparing to open three diversions on the lower Mississippi so fresh water and sediment can reach wetlands struggling to stay ahead of sea level rise.
In a new story out in The Lens today, environmental reporter Bob Marshall delves into an ongoing study about Mississippi River sediment, and its ability to rebuild the coast. Government agencies and scientists have some new ideas about how much mud and sand the Mississippi River deposits along the Louisiana coast before it flows out to the Intercontinental Shelf.
Marshall tops his story by laying out some assumptions:
Life on the Mississippi River is a roller coaster of highs and lows: record high floodwaters one year, a drought and near-record low water levels the next. And those are just two of the many problems faced by river stakeholders like barge operators, farmers and conservation groups.
Those stakeholders met recently in Chicago to discuss the Mississippi's most pressing needs, any common ground, and how to speak with a unified voice in advocating for the nation's largest river system.
The centerpiece of Louisiana's Master Plan to stem coastal erosion is this: divert the Mississippi River to let it flow over the marsh. Sediment in the river is supposed to stick and build up the wetlands, keeping more Louisiana land above water as sea levels rise.
International ships call at the busy Port of New Orleans. It's a major shipping convergence point on the Mississippi River. Ships come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico with imports from abroad, and barges come downriver, bringing U.S. goods for export.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
The Mississippi River is flowing at near normal levels again in New Orleans, as measured by this old-fashioned staff gauge behind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District office. The Corps has been fighting saltwater encroaching up the mouth of the Mississippi because of the persistent drought.