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Posted 11/6/2013

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By Brenda Beasley

For the third time in almost eight decades, bed material samples are being taken from the Mississippi River. The first was in 1935 and the second was in 1989, but this is the first time it’s an effort being coordinated between different government agencies.

Today, sixteen team members from the U.S. Geological Survey in Little Rock, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District, and the U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss., who specialize in hydrology, met in Memphis, Tenn., to discuss safety, methods and procedures before beginning the sampling venture.

Analyzing the samples will help in assessing what kind of sediment is on the Mississippi River bed and evaluate how it moves. With coastal Louisiana shrinking, this data will help assess sediment movement as it travels toward the Gulf.

Watch for more as theses team members travel in three boats from Grafton, Ill., to the Gulf of Mexico, over the next two and a half weeks.