15 Apr '18, 12am

Engineers tried to tame the Mississippi River. They only made flooding worse.

This story was originally published by Wired and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Scientists, environmentalists, and anyone who lives within a hundred miles of the winding Mississippi River will tell you — have told you, repeatedly, for 150 years — that efforts to tame the river have only made it more feral. But scientists would like more than intuition, more than a history of 18th-century river level gauges and discharge stations, more than written and folkloric memory. They would like proof. Luckily, rivers inscribe their history onto the landscape. Which is why Samuel Muñoz , a geoscientist from Northeastern University, found himself balancing on a pontoon boat with a hole in the middle, trying to jam 30 feet of aluminum irrigation pipe into the muddy bottom of a 500-year-old oxbow lake. Muñoz and his team thought that if they could just pul...

Full article: https://grist.org/article/engineers-tried-to-tame-the-mis...

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