Mississippi Watershed

Michael Capparis, Peter Conlin, and Robert Mahon

The 'Shed'

The purpose of a watershed is to gather up all the water in an area (snow, rain, etc.) for the rivers, groundwater (aquifer), and such. The Mississippi Watershed is the main contributor to the Mississippi River.

What you need to know about the 'Shed'

  • Is the world 4th largest Watershed
  • The watershed covers 1,245,000 sq mi (all or some of 31 US states)
  • Total catchment covers nearly 40% of the US
  • Highest point of the watershed is 14,440 ft

The Mississippi River 'Big Muddy'

  • Third Longest river in North America - 2,350 miles long - from Lake Itasca to Gulf of Mexico
  • Supplies water to 18 million people throughout the region
  • Home to 260 different species of fish

A Troubled River

A problem lies in a shift in the river's course. Over the past 30 years, there has been documentation of the river attempting to change its course. This could prove detrimental to people all over the nation especially to New Orleans which would just turn into standing backwater instead of a port abundant in business.


Over the years, the Mississippi has been faced with problems that jeopardize the future of the region. The river and watershed as a whole supply water to a tremendous amount of people. The river gives way to very fertile land and over fertilization leads to high amounts of phosphoric runoff. Some spots of the river are dead-zones and those could spread if this problem isn't handled properly.