Sedimentation on the Mississippi River and its major tributaries, like the Missouri, Ohio,
and Illinois Rivers, has long been an issue of serious concern. Major tributaries and the
delta area have been susceptible to significant changes in river discharge, cross section,
width, mean bed elevation, water surface elevation, and sediment concentration.
Additionally, water quality has become an issue of increasing concern throughout the
basin due to the vast dependence of life on the river. The sedimentation issues have had
broad effects upon several aspects of life, both terrestrial and aquatic, within the
Mississippi River Basin. The size and dynamic nature of the Mississippi River Basin,
have made the elimination of all sedimentation problems impossible. Several revetments,
like dams, locks, levees, and dikes, have been implemented with the intent of mitigating
these problems. The success of the revetments has generally been successful, although
some negative derivatives have developed over time due to the presence of the
revetments. Some problems have been aided by technological and educational advances,
resulting in relatively simple solutions, like those associated with upland erosion and land
use characteristics, while other issues like wetland subsidence and barrier fragmenting,
have been extremely difficult to mitigate and continue to deteriorate with time.