Houston: Plans are afoot to dredge the lower reaches of the Mississippi River, adding 1.5 m extra depth to America’s longest river. The US Army Corps of Engineers is studying a $300m dredging plan that would cover the stretch of the river from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico. The widened Panama Canal is the spur for this proposed dredging plan.
The Corps is now holding public dialogue on the plan, as well as setting about an environmental impact investigation. No clearance for the dredging would happen before the end of 2017.
A 2013 report compiled by local economist Tim Ryan and paid for by the Big River Coalition, an advocacy group, suggested that an extra 1.5 m depth in the channel would bring an additional 24m tons of cargo through southeast Louisiana ports over an eight-year span beginning in 2017.