Check out NWNL’s new photo gallery – Mara River Basin: Use and abuse of its water resources.
I started out thinking of America as highways and state lines. As I got to know it better, I began to think of it as rivers. Most of what I love about the country is a gift of the rivers. . . . America is a great story, and there is a river on every page of it.
~ Charles Kuralt, On the Road With Charles Kuralt
As we’ve learned on expedition, paths will change, unexpected twists and turns are inevitable. Over time, the Mississippi River too, has changed its course, so beautifully depicted in Harold Fisk’s hand-colored maps from 1944 in a report for the US Army Corps of Engineers. This twisted timeline of rainbow ribbons go as far back as some 2000 years, tracing the various stages of the Mississippi. These maps remind us that it is crucial to look backwards to understand hydrological history and examine engineered systems, as we look forward in a sustainable direction.
Here’s a great article on NPR which includes the full set of maps connecting Illinois to Louisiana…
Read about LSU’s new physical model being developed (of key coastal areas) expected to open in Summer 2014: http://www.lsu.edu/departments/gold/2013/03/river_studies.shtml
– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director
Today I tried to go to the Shiloh Indian Mounds in TN and the Holcut Memorial in MS (dedicated to a town submerged in the 80’s when the Feds constructed the Tennessee- Tombigbee Waterway). This is what I saw at both places:
It’s the same shut gate I’ve seen on this month’s expedition at Great Smoky Mountain Nat’l Park, Wheeler Nat’l Park, Lookout Mtn Nat’l Park, etc. Let’s hope this shutdown is resolved soon and I can get in to document Dale Hollow Nat’l Fish Hatchery, Big South Fork Nat’l River Area, Oak Ridge Nat’l Lab (for interview on climate change), the Land between the Lakes Nat’l Recreation Area, Shawnee Nat’l Forest, Cincinnati’s EPA Cluster Lab on Water Technology, et al.
Our National Parks, historic Parks, River Areas, and national Labs are probably more extensive and significant than most of us ever realize. On this expedition – with so many barriers up – I am overwhelmed by how much we take them for granted and what we lose when we don’t have them.