Durham warns of “catastrophic economic ramifications,” if significant upgrades are not made to the navigation system on the Mississippi River
New attention is being focused on the crumbling lock-and-dam system on the Mississippi River. Iowa officials painted a frightening scenario when they appeared before the Mississippi River Commission last week in Dubuque.
With lingering drought keeping the crucial Mississippi River waterway at historically low levels, some projected that barge traffic on the river would come to a scraping halt in early January. It hasn’t proved to be quite as bad – the Army Corps of Engineers now says the river will likely stay open for transportation at least through the month – but many grain and energy industries that rely on sending products up and down the river aren’t yet breathing a sigh of relief.
Southbound barges on the Mississippi River carry grain destined for world markets. Those barges regularly pass northbound tows with thousands of tons of fertilizer heading to Midwestern ports and, later, to farmers’ fields.
But this year’s drought is adding an element of uncertainty to those shipping patterns, as Mississippi River levels reach record lows. Water levels have fertilizer shippers scrambling to get their product to market before low water dries up their most important shipping route.
Ben Hoksch sits down with "Talk of Iowa" to discus his 23-hundred mile solo journey down the full length of the Mississippi River in his canoe.
Also, horror and fantasy illustrator Jeremy Caniglia talks about “Art of the Fantastic;" a genre that combines surrealism, dark fantasy and horror in a visual narrative that falls under mythological, allegorical or religious themes.
On today's Talk of Iowa, we'll listen back to host Charity Nebbe's interview with the "last river rat" Kenny Salwey, who lives along the upper Mississippi River.
He hunts, fishes, traps, and writes; while he lives off the land in a cabin he built with his own two hands. He talks about the river he’s built his life around, and his latest book, "Muskrat for Supper."