River Facts & Figures
High species diversity
The Upper Mississippi River (UMR) is part of one of the world’s greatest river ecosystems. Along the nearly 2 million acres of water, wetlands, and floodplain between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Cairo, Illinois, there are 118 species of fish and over 40 species of freshwater mussels. Two hundred ninety kinds of birds migrate along the river each year, which includes up to 40% of North America’s ducks, geese, swans, and wading birds.
Unmatched fish and wildlife habitat
Bordered by steep wooded bluffs that rise 100 to 600 feet above the river valley, the Mississippi River corridor and refuge offer scenic beauty and productive fish and wildlife habitat unmatched in the heart of America.
Home to bald eagles
The River hosts more than 300 nesting pairs of bald eagles, in part due to having one of the largest blocks of floodplain forest habitat in the lower 48 states.
Transports goods, supports economies
This riverine national treasure has been altered since the late 19th century to support industrial and municipal economies along the river. River infrastructure in the form of twenty-nine locks and dams and extensive levee networks allow the river to provide for industries throughout the Midwest and beyond. The river supports the transportation of goods, supplies hydropower to nearby communities, supplies drinking water to cities, and power plants with cooling water.
The Mississippi River of the 21st century provides for many. This diversity of uses and needs requires intensive multi-discipline and multi-jurisdictional management solutions