Effect On The Mississippi River: Beneficial & Detrimental


Many people and objects pollute the river. Humans pollute the river on accident and on purpose. Sometimes the effect humans have is so strong that it can be drastic. People also use the river for many things such as traveling and transporting many things from one place to the other. Cities build parking lots, buildings, and streets that add to the pollution. Companies make things for the good of humans but sometimes what is good for humans is not good for the river.


When we clean our kitchens and bathrooms the chemicals we use go down the drain.

We use oil for our cars. When it rains, runoff from driveways, streets, and other concrete areas head down into the water.

Sometimes when we go for recreational (or ‘’fun’’) boat rides the boats leak oil.


Cities build concrete objects like streets, parking lots, and buildings. When it rains, the things that the cities build cover up the soil, so there is no place for the water to go. When there is no place for the water to go it picks up things such as gravel, oil, and mulch carrying it to the river.

That is what we call runoff.


We need oil, lead, and aluminum for everyday life styles. But about 60,000,000 pounds of toxic products are dumped in the Mississippi every year. Some industries dumped around 200,000,000 pounds of toxic waste into water ways in 2010. Environment America, an environmental organization, says that one of the things we should do to help the river is ‘’phase out the worst toxic chemicals.''

In the Gulf of Mexico there is a large area called the Dead Zone. The Dead Zone was caused by all the pollution from the Mississippi River draining into the Gulf. Hardly any plants or animals can survive. The US Geological Survey has found that 9% of the nitrogen and 12% of the phosphorus that adds to the Dead Zone is from industries.

There are two different opinions on what we should do about dumping toxic chemicals into the river. The companies that are dumping the chemicals do not wish to stop what they are doing. Then again other people want to get rid of the chemicals being dumped entirely. However to do that it would cost companies outrageous amounts of money and that would mean that the prices on the product that the company is selling would rise, people would buy a different brand of that product that didn't cost nearly as much money, and that company would lose money instead of gaining more from the higher prices.


Johnson, Robin. The Mississippi: America's Mighty River. New York: Crabtree Pub., 2010. Print.

Olson, Nathan. The Mississippi River. Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2004. Print.

"Report: Protect America's Waters." Wasting Our Waterways 2012. Environment America, 20 Mar. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.