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Water Resources, Infrastructure Restoration, and Protection of the Upper Mississippi River Basin

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Document pages: 26 pages

Abstract: The Upper Mississippi River flows approximately 2000 km from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to Cairo, Illinois where it is confluences with the Ohio River to form the Lower Mississippi River. North of the confluence, numerous snags, sand bars, rapids, and other obstructions made the Upper Mississippi River travel difficult. This paper highlights how the geological and landscape resources of the Upper Mississippi River and tributary watershed were responsible for the successful economic development of this historically rich region of North America. Environmental challenges include an attempt to keep invasive species such as the Asian carp out of the rivers and lakes north of the Twin Cities. In an attempt to protect the Mississippi River resource, Environmental and Conservation groups have opposed continued navigation through Minneapolis and St. Paul and the planned Upper Mississippi River navigation infrastructure restoration by the United States Corps of Engineers including the upper and lower St. Anthony locks and dams. These Environmental, Conservation and Save the River groups are attempting to mitigate the historic highest and best use of the Mississippi River and adjacent watershed, navigation, and economic development, by having the urban river restored to the natural state.

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