The Mississippi levee system represents one of the largest such levee systems found anywhere in the world. It comprises over 3,500 miles of levees extending some 620 mi along the Mississippi, stretching from Cape Girardeau, MO, to the Mississippi Delta. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with the Mississippi River Commission, extended the levee system beginning in 1882 to cover the riverbanks from Cairo, IL to the mouth of the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana. By the mid-1980s, they had reached their present extent and averaged 24 feet in height; some Mississippi levees are as high as 50 feet. The Mississippi levees also include some of the longest continuous individual levees in the world. MWRA membership includes two important levee board members.
The Constitution of the State of Mississippi requires the Board of Mississippi Levee Commissioners to operate and maintain the Mainline Mississippi River Levee in the counties of Bolivar, Washington, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Humphreys. The Mississippi Legislature also authorizes the Board to cooperate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the construction and maintenance of the Big Sunflower River and Tributaries Project in these same counties.
It is the Board's mission to carry out its obligation to the State of Mississippi and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Vicksburg District Corps of Engineers has presented an award for "Outstanding Maintenance of Flood Control Projects" to the Board each year since 1959.
The Board of Levee Commissioners for the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta is charged with the responsibility to erect, maintain, and operate a system of levees to protect the people and property of the Delta from damages from high waters of the Mississippi River; to direct the necessary activities attendant to the threat of high water and flood damages from interior rivers and streams; and to furnish the local cooperation required for certain flood control and drainage projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Recreational Facilities: Public fishing areas in Tunica and Coahoma counties at various locations along the mainline levee.
Geographic Area Served: DeSoto, Tunica, Coahoma, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, Leflore, Holmes, Humphreys and Yazoo counties.