Taming the river. Click image to enlarge.
After the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 — the most destructive river flood in U.S. history — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began constructing an extensive system of levees stretching from Missouri to Louisiana. Within decades the flood control system was complete, and the lower Mississippi was effectively separated from what had been its flood plain. The levees protected settlements along the river from catastrophic flooding — but they also channeled the rich sediment that had historically replenished the delta plain into the Gulf of Mexico.
Image credit: Coastal Sustainability Studio