Mississippi River Basin


Lower Mississippi River Basin Expedition Itinerary
September 2014

“It seems safe to say that [the Mississippi] is … the crookedest river in the world, since in one part of its journey it uses up to 1,300 miles to cover the same ground that the crow would fly over in 675 miles.”
— Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

Great blue heron, Honey Island Swamp

Sept 2 – 10 New Orleans

  • Sept 2–6: Society of Environmental Journalists Annual Conference
  • Sept 2: Riverboat Natchez evening cruise
  • Sept 4:
    • Bonnet Carre Spillway and Industrial Canal
    • Interviews: Geismar LA (Air Liquide) with Dan Borne (LA Chem. Assoc), Dan Toczniak (Am Chem. Council), Marylee Orr (LEAN), Celena Cage and Bryan Johnston (LA DEQ), David Gray (EPA, Region 6), Kim Nibarger (United Steelworkers)
    • Norco, in Diamond Subdivision: with Ann Rolfes (LA Bucket Brigade) and St. Rose residents
  • Sept 5: Address by Sally Jewell, US Secretary of the Interior
  • Sept 6: Barataria: Jean Lafitte National Historic Park with John Adornato of National Parks Conservation Association
  • Sept 7:
    • SouthWings flight over Delta with Jonathan Henderson (Gulf Restoration Network)
    • Post-Katrina infrastructure:
    • – Seabrook Floodgate complex
    • – Inner Harbor Storm-Surge Protection Barrier on Lake Borgne
    • River Diversions and canal embankments
    • Marine Transfer Terminals and storage for coal exports
    • Honey Island Swamp Tour
  • Sept 8:
    • Port of New Orleans
    • Pontchartrain Expressway
    • Interviews: Greg Miller, USACE New Orleans, Planning Division
      Amanda Moore, Restore the Mississippi Delta, Deputy Director
  • Sept 9:
    • New Orleans “Petrochemical Alley”
    • Interview: Anne Rolfes, LA Bucket Brigade, New Orleans
  • Greenwood Cemetery Post-Katrina infrastructure:
    • New Seabrook Floodgate complex
    • Inner Harbor Flood Protection Barrier (2-mile “Great Wall,” in L. Borgne
  • River Road and the Batture (New Orleans–Garyville) including:
    • Belle Chasse
    • St. Charles Parish
    • Destrahan
    • Port of Southern Louisiana (Kinder Morgan, Cargill)
    • Norco (Valero, Shell)
    • Parish of St. John the Baptist (Garyville water tower)
    • St. Rose (fence-line community)

Sept 10 – 13 South of New Orleans / The Mississippi River Delta

Shrimp boats in Buras

  • Sept 10:
    • Plaquemines Parish via Greater New Orleans Bridge and Rte. 23
    • Rte. 23: Chevron, Alliance (aka Phillips 66)
    • Ironton (home of Audrey Trufant-Salvant)
    • Myrtle Grove (aka “Texaco Canals”)
    • International Marine Terminal (Kinder Morgan)
    • Wood Park, Plaquemines Port, Woodland, South borrow pit
    • Grand Bayou Village
    • Port Sulphur
    • Buras: Shrimpers Marina
    • Venice and Tidewater
    • Interview Audrey Trufant-Salvant, candidate for councilwoman of Plaquemines
    • Overnight: Venice
  • Sept 11:
    • Venice Marina (tarpon fishermen)
    • Venice Point, Cypress Cove, Venice Boat Harbor
    • Delta NWR and barrier islands by boat
    • Interview: Capt. Shane Mayfield
    • Overnight: Venice
  • Sept 12:
    • Barataria: Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion/ West Bay Diversion
    • Hwy 23, South Plaquemine (Exxon); Lafitte; Klondike; Montegut
    • Overnight: Pointe aux Chenes Marina
  • Sept 13:
    • “Ground Zero for Climate Change in US”
    • Pointe aux Chenes, Pointe aux Chenes Bayou, Causeway Rd.
    • Morganza-to-the-Gulf Levee
    • Isle de Jean Charles (Native American-Cajun community)
    • Interview: Jamie Dardar (Native American-Cajun fisherman)
    • Larose, Intercoastal Waterway (Halliburton), Bayou La Fourche, Des Allemandes
    • River Rd/Rte 18 (Dow Chemical, Union Carbide, OxyChem, Entergy)
    • St. John the Baptist Parish, Edgard
    • Overnight: Donaldson LA

Sept 14 Atchafalaya Basin (to update 2010 expedition issues)

  • Sept 14:
    • Belle River
    • Napoleonville (Shell)
    • interview: Linda Cooke and Sandra Crochet
    • Interview with bayou boat ride: Dean Wilson, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper
    • Overnight: Placquemine

Sept 15 – 17 Baton Rouge: “Petro-Chemical Alley”

  • Sept 15:
    • Placquemine: new and old Morrisonville Community (Dow Chemical)
    • Bayou Corne (Texas Brine)
    • Port Allen Lock on Intracoastal Waterway
    • Overnight: Baton Rouge
  • Sept 16:
    • Baton Rouge and its Port
    • Interviews:
    • – Maryann Orr, Exec Dir, LEAN (Louisiana Environmental Action Network)
    • – Paul Orr, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper
    • – Michael Orr, Communications Director for LEAN
    • Overnight: Baton Rouge
  • Sept 17:
    • Baton Rouge: Bluebonnet Swamp
    • Interviews:
    • – Brian P. Piazza, The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana (Director of Freshwater and Marine Science) and author of The Atchafalaya Basin: History and Ecology of an American Wetland
    • – Paul Kemp: LSU adjunct professor, board member of South-East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority (SELFPA), and formerly with Audubon
    • Overnight: Baton Rouge

Sept 18 – 20 Baton Rouge to Natchez

  • Sept 18:
    • Baton Rouge to St. Francisville: PetroChemical Alley
    • Rte 61 North (Exxon Mobil Polyolefin Plant; Baton Rouge Terminal; Kinder Morgan Barge Terminal; BASF Chemical Company)
    • Sweet Briar Estates (fence-line community)
    • Rte 61 North (US Composite Height South)
    • Port Hudson: Georgia Pacific Paper Mill
    • Sibley: St. Catherine Creek NWR
    • River Bend Nuclear Power Plant, Entergy
    • Overnight: St. Francisville MS
  • Sept 19:
    • St. Francisville to Natchez via “The Blues Highway” (over Buffalo River and Homo Chito River)
    • Interview: Kenwood Kennen, owner of Shady Tree Inn, retired lawyer
    • Bayou Sara, Cat Island and Mississippi River
    • Natchez-Under-the-Hill (on the Mississippi River)
    • Historic Natchez, Silver Street Dock and Bluff access
    • Overnight: Natchez MS
  • Sept 20:
    • Natchez
    • Giles Island in Mississippi River, Speed Bancroft
    • Kayak across Mississippi River
    • Interview: Adam Elliot, Quapaw Canoe
    • Overnight: Natchez MS

Sept 21 – 23 Vicksburg

  • Sept 21:
    • Port Gibson: “Too beautiful to burn”—Ulysses S. Grant
    • Bayou Pierre
    • Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant
    • Big Black River Conservancy
    • The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta and Yazoo River
    • Overnight: Vicksburg MS
  • Sept 22:
    • Vicksburg
    • Interviews: USACE:
    • – Kent Parrish (Sr. Project Mgr. of Mississippi River Levees)
    • – Noah Broman (Dir., Mississippi Valley Division’s Dam & Levee Production Center)
    • – Tommy Hengst (Chief of River Operations Branch)
    • Overnight: Vicksburg MS
  • Sept 23:
    • Vicksburg
    • Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Site
    • Port of Vicksburg (Citgo Terminal, Ergon Refinery, Kinder Morgan)
    • Kings Point (International Paper, Vicksburg Mill, Southern Loggers Coop)
    • The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta and Yazoo River
    • Overnight: Vicksburg MS

Sept 24 – 26 Vicksburg to Clarksdale

  • Sept 24:
    • Yazoo Delta National Forest
    • Yazoo NWR and Yazoo River
    • Sunflower River, Dump Lake, Steele Bayou
    • Greenville MS and Lake Ferguson (oxbow)
    • Overnight: Lake Village on Ditch Bayou AR
  • Sept 25:
    • Eastern Arkansas / Arkansas Delta
    • Lake Chilcot (oxbow), Watson AR
    • Lake Village AR
    • White River AR
    • Coahoma County MS
    • Overnight: Clarksdale MS
  • Sept 26:
    • Clarksdale: Sunflower Creek
    • Delta Blues Museum
    • Interview: John Ruskey
    • Overnight: Clarksdale MS

Sept 27 – 28 New Madrid Floodway

  • Sept 27:
    • Arkansas Delta to Caruthersville MO
    • Arkansas River
    • Helena AR
    • Cane Creek Channelization Project AR
    • Crowleys Ridge and St Francis River AR
    • Caruthersville MO floodwall against Mississippi River
    • Overnight: Caruthersville MO
  • Sept 28:
    • New Madrid MO to Reelfoot Lake TN
    • New Madrid Floodway (Cargill); Rt WW levee; St John Bayou
    • Reelfoot Lake NWR and Reelfoot State Park TN
    • Overnight: Memphis TN

Sept 29 – 30 Memphis, TN

  • Sept 29 – 30:
    • Review Expedition with David Hill, RARE Founder and former President
    • Overnight: Memphis TN