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Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster

Presentation by author Christine Klein, professor of Environmental & Land Use Law at University of Florida

Author of the recently published “Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster” returns to her native St. Louis to discuss how misguided river and floodplain management can actually increase flood risk.

1993 Chesterfield

A St. Louis Post Dispatch file photo from the 1993 flood showing the Boone Bridge and the Chesterfield Bottoms after the failure of the Monarch Levee. The levee has since been rebuilt at a higher level and much of Chesterfield Bottoms is commercial retail businesses. Photo by Larry Williams

Time and Place

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
6:30 pm

Big A's on the Riverfront
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Presentation by author Christine A. Klein, J.D., LL.M., Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

4:30 p.m. Free Paddle trip with Big Muddy Adventures! (details below)
6. p.m. 
Meet at Big A’s Restaurant
6:30 p.m. Presentation
At Big A’s Restaurant
308 N Main St. –  St Charles, MO
(directions below)

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

book cover

“Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disasters” by Christine Klein and Sandra Zellner.

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 will discuss 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.

Free Paddle Trip with Big Muddy Adventures!

Join expert Missouri River guide Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures before the presentation for a up and downstream paddle through downtown St. Charles on the Junebug canoe. Space is limited – PLEASE REGISTER on the Greenway Network website.

Here’s the link to register – fill out your name and the month you want to join the paddle trip: http://www.greenwaynetwork.org/get-involved/big-muddy-paddler-registration.php .

This opportunity brought to you by the generosity of Greenway Network and Big Muddy Adventures.

Meet by the river behind Big A’s at 4:30. You’ll be back by 6 p.m.



To Big A’s on the Riverfront, our host for the Speaker Series.

To get there from I-70

  • Take I-70 to exit 229B – the 5th St. Exit
  • Merge onto 5th St. headed north toward St. Charles.
  • After about 1 mile, turn right on Monroe St.
  • Turn left onto N. Main St.
  • Big A’s will be on your right (308 N. Main St.) Additional parking is available in the rear.
  • View on Google Maps.

Resources and Links

Here’s some links for further research on this fascinating topic:

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles

is hosted by these wonderful partners:

All speakers are presenting for free and Big A’s is sharing the space for free! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Rocheport and Kansas City.

A special thank you to Greenway Network and Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures for making this happen!