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1937 Homochitto River Project Revisited
Proceedings of the 2022 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2022 Authors: Prud'homme B.
In 1937, the US Army Corps of Engineers began a flood control project on the lower end of the Homochitto River, an east tributary to the Mississippi River south of Natchez. Upon completion, the lower serpentine 20 mile reach was shortened to a straight channel only 10 miles long. The steepened river gradient and increased flow velocity stimulated immediate headward erosion resulting in continuous geomorphic channel adjustments of every tributary along the adjusting river channel, including every tributary stream on the Homochitto National Forest. Riparian habitat along the river has all but completely disappeared and aquatic habitat diversity has been dramatically homogenized. Transportation systems and other infrastructure have suffered extensive damage, valuable property has been lost, and untold millions of cubic yards and tons of sediment have gone downstream into the Mississippi River. Potential may exist for the geomorphic trend of the river and tributaries to cease and reverse.