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Atchafalaya River

Atchafalaya River
Atchafalaya River delta

The Atchafalaya River [1] is a 137-mile-long (220 km)[2] distributary of the Mississippi River and Red River in south central Louisiana in the United States. It flows south, just west of the Mississippi River.[3] and is the fifth largest river in North America, by discharge.[4]

The Atchafalaya River is navigable and provides a significant industrial shipping channel for the state of Louisiana, as well as the cultural heart of the Cajun Country. The maintenance of the river as a navigable channel of the Mississippi River has been a significant project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over a century. Natural development of the river channel, coupled with channel training and maintenance for flood control and navigation, have combined to isolate the river from the swamp.[4] The river valley forms the Atchafalaya Basin and Atchafalaya Swamp located in southern Louisiana near the Gulf of Mexico.

The river is formed near

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • USGS Infobank: Atchafalaya River
  • )The New YorkerJohn McPhee: The Control of Nature - Atchafalaya (
  • Atchafalya River - Engineering Geology Mapping Program PDF files of publications about and maps of the geology of the Atchafalya River
  • Louisiana, Morgan City to Port Allen, Including the Atchafalaya River Coast and Geodetic Survey
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Atchafalaya River

External links

  1. ^ Moon Handbooks New Orleans: Including Cajun Country, Andrew Collins, 2007, p.324, webpage: Books-Google-FgC.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed June 20, 2011
  3. ^ "Atchafalaya River Navigation Book" (maps), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, October 2010, webpage: MVN.
  4. ^ a b c Piazza, Bryan P (2014). The Atchafalaya River Basin: History and Ecology of an American Wetland. Texas A&M University Press.  
  5. ^ History and static maps
  6. ^ Interactive and zoomable map or satellite photos comparing the current channel, the potential new channel, and the various control structures
  7. ^ Daniels, Ronald Joel (2006). On Risk and Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 45. 
  8. ^ Rouse, Lawrence J.; Robert, Harry H.; Cunningham, Robert H.W. (1978). "Satellite Observation of the Subaerial Growth of the Atchafalaya Delta, Louisiana". Geology 6 (7): 405–408.  
  9. ^  
  10. ^ "Atchafalaya National Heritage Area". Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "109th Congress Public Law 338". Government Printing Office. Retrieved March 15, 2012. 


See also

The river's valley was designated Atchafalaya National Heritage Area in 2006.[10][11]

The name "Atchafalaya" comes from Choctaw for "long river", from hachcha, "river", and falaya, "long".[9]


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