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Weeklong series to focus on how the Army Corps of Engineers’ presence has altered the literal and figurative course of the nation’s longest waterway

SEATTLE, WA—This week, as flooding wreaks havoc throughout the Midwest,, the world’s leading source of environmental news and opinion, takes an in-depth look at the federal agency responsible for managing U.S. waterways: the Army Corps of Engineers. In a five-day series, Grist explores the role of the nation’s legendarily industrious, controversial, and misunderstood agency along the Mississippi River in a special series, The Corps of the Matter. This special series, which began March 17 and runs through March 21, seeks to uncover what the Corps’ presence there has meant for both residents and natural resources over the last 200 years.

Step aboard as Grist navigates the history and the hubris of the Army Corps on the Mighty Mississip’ in a flood of top-notch reporting and multimedia features. Coverage will include:

  • A brief history of the creation and growth of the Army Corps from Boston Globe correspondent Jennifer Cutraro
  • An interactive map of current Army Corps projects in the Mississippi Basin, by Wired contributing editor Patrick DiJusto and illustrator Keri Rosebraugh
  • A detailed and alarming account of famous Corps boondoggles and cover-ups, with Time Magazine correspondent Michael Grunwald describing his own muddy muckraking of the agency
  • A roundup of lessons from the floodplain: the rush and remorse of riverside development in the Midwest since the Great Flood of 1993
  • An audio slideshow documenting St. Louis-area development along the Mississippi River
  • A profile of a post-hurricane rebuilding effort in Biloxi, Miss., exploring a question that’s key throughout the Gulf Coast: If residents don’t want to leave high-risk areas, are there ways to keep them safe?
  • An examination of how the Corps is preparing for climate change, and how the coastal wetlands of Louisiana will be affected

With commentary from FEMA, the Army Corps, and conservation organizations, The Corps of the Matter provides in-depth analysis of how a single agency has helped engineer the Mississippi into the river it is today, and looks ahead to how it will continue to do so in the future.

For those who want to jump even deeper into Mississippi issues, Grist has already sailed those waters in Mississippi Keen, a special series on communities striving to re-imagine their waterfronts, and themselves. Travel with Grist to Dubuque, IA, St. Louis, MO, and Memphis, TN, as their citizens struggle to return their damaged river to its former glory.

About Grist
The nonprofit, independent, online magazine Grist was founded in April 1999, and over the past eight years has developed the most recognizable voice in environmental journalism: funny, opinionated, and intelligent. Grist offers in-depth reporting, opinions, book reviews, advice, and a popular blog—all tailored to inform, entertain, provoke, and encourage its readers to think creatively about environmental problems and solutions.

Each month, Grist reaches over 700,000 unique individuals through its website and emails, and it has enjoyed particular success among readers in their 20s and 30s. Through syndication arrangements with other media outlets like and, Grist is reaching an even broader audience that extends into the millions. Grist has been featured on the Today Show and in Time, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Newsweek, and dozens of other national publications. Grist earned Webby™ People’s Voice awards in both 2005 and 2006 as the internet’s best magazine.