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Mississippi and Niger Rivers Compared

The Mississippi River and the Niger of West Africa will be compared during a conference open to the public in New Orleans on Thursday and Friday, November 7 and 8.

River development, history, water resources, environment and culture will be discussed by speakers from the United States and Nigeria. Organizers of the Comparing Rivers conference are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Tulane University.

The rivers present contrasts. The Mississippi, with average annual flow of about 640,000 cubic feet per second, has been developed for navigation and flood control. It has extensive levees, floodwalls, revetment and navigation improvements.

The Niger, with average annual flow of 201,000 cubic feet per second, is relatively undeveloped. Nigeria, the country through which the Niger reaches the ocean, approved a plan in 2001 to dredge a 355-mile navigation channel in the lower river.

The Mississippi is 3,892 miles long and the Niger is 2,600 miles long, measured by their longest tributaries. Drainage areas are Mississippi, 1.24 million square miles, and Niger, 850,000 square miles.

The conference will be the 5th Randall L. Gibson Tulane-Corps of Engineers conference. It will be held at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, on the edge of the French Quarter. It will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days.

Complete Mississippi-Niger conference program:

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