Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster
Published: May 14, 2014
Presentation by author Christine A. Klein, J.D., LL.M., Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
American engineers have done astounding things to bend the Mississippi River and its tributaries to their will: transforming over a thousand miles of roiling current into a placid staircase of water; imprisoning the mighty flow behind walls of levees; even forcing one of the tributaries to flow uphill. But despite our best efforts to control the river, so-called “natural disasters” continue to strike the Mississippi basin. Raging floodwaters decimate waterfront communities and dislodge everything in their path—homes, trees, livestock, even dozens of caskets at a time. An overview of the basin’s floods and hurricanes over the past century—including the great flood of 1993—reveals that it is seductively deceptive, but dangerously misleading, to call such catastrophes “natural.”
Christine Klein is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. She discussed her recent book “Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disasters”, written with co-author Sandra Zellmer, and published by NYU Press in March 2014. She is a Chesterfield Smith Professor and Director, LL.M. Program in Environmental & Land Use Law at Levin College of Law, University of Florida.
Resources and Links
Here’s some links for further research on this fascinating topic:
- Webpage for the book, New York University Press
- Download the table of contents and introduction
- “Would Noah Build in the Chesterfield Floodplain?” – discussion on the book by Harry Levins, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 30, 2014
- “Natural Floods, Unnatural Disasters” – article in The Hill by Christine Klein and co-author Sandra Zellmer, April 8, 2014
- “Missouri River Floodplain Landowners seek ‘Double Take’ from the Taxpayers” – article by Klein and Zellmer in response to the recent lawsuit against the federal government regarding Missouri River flooding.
- Radio Interview with Christine Klein – WUFT – North-Central Florida
- Radio Interview with Sandra Zellner – BYU radio show “Thinking Aloud”
- “Mudslinging on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers” – presentation by Sandra Zellmer on Missouri River sediment and restoration controversies.
- Book Review by Michael “Aquadoc” Campana.
The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles
was hosted by these wonderful partners:
- Greenway Network
- Missouri River Relief
- Friends of Big Muddy
- Big Muddy Adventures
- Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge
- Big A’s Restaurant
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