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Shippers Say Mississippi River Sediment Again Costing Them Millions

Posted on April 18, 2016

By Mark Schleifstein,

This year’s high river conditions on the lower Mississippi River have again deposited enough sediment in Southwest Pass to continue to disrupt shipping, costing operators millions of dollars, industry officials told the Mississippi River Commission on Friday (April 15). The navigable depth of Southwest Pass has dropped to 42 feet, when the channel is authorized to be 45 feet deep and is normally at least 47 feet deep.

The result is that ships entering or exiting the river must carry less to make it past the shallower area, officials said. Shoaling caused a similar problem in January.

The commission was in New Orleans to meet with the public as part of its annual high water inspection trip along the river. The commission — made up of three Army Corps of Engineers officers, one member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and three civilians — advises the corps on navigation, flood control and environmental issues.


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