The wildlife including many fish and mammals.

The Mississippi River is very useful and important to America. It is used for many different purposes, it is very large, there are many plants and animals, and there are so many cool things to learn about. Although the Mississippi is very useful and important, it is also very polluted, which you will learn about.

The Mississippi River is very wide and and pretty deep. It is 200 feet deep at the most and at the shallowest it is 3 feet. At the narrowest, the Mississippi River is 20-30 feet wide and 11 miles wide at the widest. The average speed of the Mississippi River is 1.2 miles per hour at the headwaters. Near New Orleans, however, it is around 3 miles per hour.The Mississippi River goes through many states and is very long. It stretches 2,350 miles long.

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It starts in Lake Itasca, which is located in northern Minnesota. From Minnesota, it travels through Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas. From Arkansas, it flows to Louisiana which it eventually will end up in the Gulf of Mexico, right below New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Mississippi River is home to much wildlife including many fish and mammals. It is home to more than 50 different mammals in the Upper Mississippi. There are mammals ranging from otters to coyotes to deer and even muskrats! There are about 260 different species of fish in the Mississippi River. 25% of North America’s fish species, such as smallmouth bass, white bass, catfish, walleye, sauger,  and northern pike, live in the Mississippi River.There is a lot of pollution in the Mississippi River. This pollution is more toxic than oil.

Fertilizer runoff from near farms, which kills many animals and plants, is very harmful to the Mississippi River. Even before the big oil spill in 2015, the Mississippi River was polluted. It was one of America’s filthiest rivers. People threw garbage into the river and many chemicals end up in the river as well. We need to make the Mississippi River less polluted and more useful.

There are 29 locks in the Mississippi River. A lock is a helpful tool, or device, that makes navigating rivers easier. It makes crossing uneven rivers or streams a lot easier and possible. Locks also raise and lower ships and boats to get across the river. Locks move about 175 million tons of freight or goods transported on ships.

There are many plants in and around the Mississippi River. Animals eat many of these plants, but certain animals eat certain plants, for example, waterfowl eat duckweed. There are many plants including eelgrass, yellow lotus flowers, bald cypress, spikesedge, big cordgrass, bitter panicgrass, etc.

Animals rely on these plants to live, it is their food. Without these plants and vegetation, many animals would not live by the Mississippi River.The Mississippi River is used for many different reasons. Boats use the river for traveling and moving goods down the river. About 18 million people use the Mississippi River watershed, the fourth-largest drainage basin in the world.

Around 50 cities use the Mississippi in just one day. We used to use water from the Mississippi, but because of all the pollution, we don’t anymore. The river provides water for farmers and their crops. The Mississippi allows boats to move about 125 million tons of commodities every year. People also go fishing, canoeing, boating, hunting, angling (fishing with rod and line), and birdwatchers. There are so many cool and interesting things about the Mississippi River. A raindrop that falls in Lake Itasca would reach New Orleans, Louisiana in about 90 days.

That’s almost 3 months! It is the fourth longest river in the world and the second longest river in North America, by just 20ft! The Mississippi River was discovered in 1541 by Hernando De Soto. The Mississippi River means “large river” named by the Chippewa Indians.The Mississippi River is amazing and unique. Since it is polluted, we need to take care of it otherwise the beauty and wildlife of this river will be gone.

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