Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the second longest river system in the United States. Only the Missouri River is longer. The Mississippi flows 2,340 miles (3,766 kilometers) from its source in northwestern Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico.
The word, Mississippi probably comes from a combination of Chippewa words (mici and zibi) meaning "great river" or "great water." It was first written as "Michi Sepe" by Lieutenant Henri de Tonti traveling with the explorer La Salle.
The Mississippi and its tributaries drain almost all the plains between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. Its drainage basin is the third largest in the world, exceeded in size only by the watersheds of the Amazon and Congo Rivers. The drainage basin covers 1,247,300 square miles (3,230,490 square kilometers) in 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces. This area encompasses the nation's most productive agricultural and industrial regions. The Mississippi is the nation's chief navigable water route. Barges and towboats on the Mississippi River System carry sixty percent of the agricultural goods, industrial products, and raw materials transported on inland waterways.
The Mississippi River and its valley also support many kinds of animals and plants including freshwater fishes, birds, deer, raccoons, otters, mink, and a variety of forest trees. But pollution from agriculture and industry seriously threaten the life of the Mississippi.

1 comment:

TommyClaire said...

wow! i have seen part of that river when we passed by part of it in texas. MY fiance told me that it was indeed the second longest river running over united states

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