The websites in this Topic in Depth describe the physical characteristics of the Atchafalaya River and address its relationship with the Mississippi River. First, Illinois State University summarizes the location and main features of the Atchafalaya River Basin (1). Next, the USGS presents its current research on the lower Atchafalaya and Mississippi River "to better understand and assess lower Mississippi sediment-hosted pollutant accumulation, deposition, and transport to the Gulf of Mexico" (2). Users can view aerial photographs of the sites, read the project proposal and reports, and find out about meetings and conferences related to the study. The third website, maintained by NOAA, provides preliminary forecasts and stage information for the Atchafalaya and the rest of the Lower Mississippi (3). Educators can find materials on flood safety, flood events, hydrology, and much more. Next, the USGS National Wetlands Research Center summarizes the major features of the Atchafalaya Basin (4). Through a series of satellite images and aerial photographs, visitors can learn about the basin-wide land loss and other landscape changes. The website offers reports and data on Atchafalaya's sediment delivery. At the fifth website, Shannon Condran and Anthony Gale at Penn State offer a summary of the interactions between the Atchafalaya and the Mississippi and the attempts by the Army Corp of Engineers to contain the Mississippi River (5). This website provides a nice introduction to how and why rivers are captured by other rivers. Next, the WaterObserver.org supplies an article about the history of the Mississippi River's deltas and the current landscape issues of the delta region (6). Users can learn how dams, levees, and other man-made changes have affected the landforms. The seventh website furnishes a history of the Old River Area (7). Individuals can learn how the Old River developed in the Mississippi River system and how this affected the relationship between the Atchafalaya and the Mississippi. Lastly, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supplies a pdf brochure detailing the structures in the Atchafalaya Basin (8). Visitors can learn why the Corps feels these modifications help sustain agriculture, cultural practices, and the environment.
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