Mississippi River barge. Photo: Sarah van Schagen

Fifty-eight semi-truck trailer loads traveling over 9 feet of water.
Photo: Sarah van Schagen

 

10 — states that border the Mississippi River
31 — states drained by the Mississippi River watershed 1
2 — Canadian provinces drained by the Mississippi River watershed 1
50 — cities that rely on the river for their water supply 1
40 — percentage of U.S. that’s part of the Mississippi River basin 1

2,300 — length of the river, in miles 1

326 — species of birds that migrate along the Mississippi corridor 1
260 — species of fish that call the Mississippi home 1

12 million — people who recreate annually along the Upper Mississippi 2
$1.2 billion — amount they spend in riverfront communities 2

60 — percentage of grain exported from the U.S. that’s shipped on the Mississippi 1
90 million — tons of cargo moved on the Mississippi River between St. Paul, Minn., and St. Louis each year 3

58 — semi-truck trailers of load capacity on one barge 4
2.25 million — loaves of bread you could bake from the wheat in one barge load 4

68 — days it took a Slovenian long-distance swimmer to cover the length of the river in 2002 5
90 — days it would take a raindrop to travel the length of the river 1

29 — lock-and-dam structures on the Upper Mississippi 6
9 — depth of the shipping channel from Minneapolis to Baton Rouge, La., in feet 4

24 — length of Lake Pontchartrain over-water highway bridge, the world’s longest, in miles 6

6 — average flow rate at the headwaters, in cubic feet per second 1
600,000 — average flow rate at New Orleans, in cubic feet per second 1

3 — depth of the river at its headwaters, in feet 1
200 — depth of the river at its deepest point, near Algiers Point, New Orleans, in feet 1

436,000 — tons of sediment the river carries each day 1

85 — years ago that waterskiing was invented on the Mississippi 6

Sources:

1: National Park Service, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, General Information About the Mississippi River
2: American Rivers, Army Corps Reform: The Mississippi River, About the River
3: American Rivers, Army Corps Reform: The Mississippi River, A Brief History
4: Mississippi River Resource Page
5: Wikipedia, Martin Strel
6: Mississippi River Parkway Commission, River Facts & Fun