mississippi river

Queen of the Mississippi to launch service

Aug 3, 2012

A comeback for old-fashioned paddlewheel riverboat travel on the Mississippi River continues in New Orleans this weekend with the departure from New Orleans of the Queen of the Mississippi, a brand new, quintuple-decked vessel mixing 19th century trappings meant to evoke the Mark Twain era with modern amenities including internet access, satellite television, an exercise area and a putting green.

American Cruise Lines has set Saturday as the date for its first seven-night round trip to Vicksburg, Miss.

VIDALIA — The Concordia Economic and Industrial Development District is still feeling the effects of last year's Mississippi River flood.

The Natchez Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/LushVu) that the district board figures for the year that ended June 13 show revenues from hotel taxes totaled $71,000 — a decrease from the $90,000 it collected the previous fiscal year.

With the Mississippi River running at low levels, salt water is moving up from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Times-Picayune reports that denser, heavier saltwater flows upriver beneath fresh water flowing downstream when the river's flow drops below normal. The Army Corps of Engineers says salt water is not yet considered a threat to water supplies in the New Orleans area.

The ferry that carries passengers across the Mississippi from White Castle to Carville ferry has been temporarily docked since June due to a mechanical malfunction, but state transportation officials say it will be shut down permanently by year's end to save $800,000 annually.

It is a plan that U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond hopes the state will reconsider. Richmond has asked Gov. Bobby Jindal to reconsider his proposal to shut down the White Castle and Reserve-Edgard ferries.

West bank bound lanes on the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish are closed until 5 a.m. on Monday while workers place girders for wider lanes.

State officials are urging motorists to use the Crescent City Connection in New Orleans or the Interstate 310 Bridge in Lulling as alternate crossings of the Mississippi River.

The Huey P. Long Bridge widening project will include three 11-foot lanes in each direction. The total width, including shoulders, will more than double from the current driving surface.

Completion is projected for 2013.

Nature takes a crack at rebuilding marsh

Jul 9, 2012

A small breach on the marsh-covered east bank of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans is giving rise to calls to let the river run wild.

The debate centers on a 77-foot-wide channel the river carved through a levee road in the unused Bohemia spillway in Plaquemines Parish, about 45 miles south of New Orleans. The breach is outside levees that protect thinly populated communities on the sliver of delta that extends south to form Louisiana's boot.

There's plenty of mud flowing down the Mississippi River and getting washed out into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Now, in a bid to save the threatened delta, the Army Corps of Engineers says it wants to take mud dredged from the shipping channels to build up fragile wetlands.

After more than a decade of coordinating coastal concerns of five Gulf states, the America’s Wetland Foundation is looking north. The group will be heading as far north as Minnesota to study how best to use the Mississippi River that feeds the Delta.

Authorities say there are no signs of shoreline or wildlife being affected by the discharge of fuel oil from a tanker on the Mississippi River.

The Coast Guard said the discharge from a ballast pipe on the tanker Overseas Beryl was reported shortly after 10 p.m. Monday and it was plugged around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Cleanup has begun at the site downriver from New Orleans. The amount of fuel oil spilled remained unclear at midmorning.

A new study released at the Port of New Orleans says sediment in the Mississippi River is building up at rates that could severely clog commerce. Eileen Fleming reports maritime interests say more dredging is essential to the U.S. economy.