National Great Rivers Museum:
A Defining Partnership
Each year millions of people flock to the Mississippi River to understand the impact it has had on our nation and the many ways it has influenced our history. Since its establishment in 2003, the National Great Rivers Museum has introduced the public to the story of the Mississippi River. The museum is a congressionally funded facility, and the product of a collaboration between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Meeting of the Rivers Foundation. Together the two organizations have created a 12,000 square foot facility equipped with interactive exhibits, a theater, and an entire outdoor landscape.
The Rivers Project, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ St. Louis District, manages navigation and public lands along 300 miles of the Mississippi River between Cairo, IL and Saverton, MO as well as the lower 80 miles of the Illinois River. Within the nearly 100,000 acres of land and water managed by the Rivers Project, resides; four locks and dams, a migratory bird sanctuary, a national scenic byway, multiple recreation areas, and the National Great Rivers Museum.
Meeting of the Rivers Foundation
Meeting of the Rivers Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring lifelong, environmental stewardship for the Mississippi River and great river systems. Our original charter focused on the acquisition, maintenance, and replacement of exhibits at the National Great Rivers Museum and has since evolved to also include a focus on education and community outreach initiatives that promote public awareness and understanding of river issues and solutions. MTRF works in partnership with numerous other collaborative organizations and the US Army Corps of Engineers to elevate the impacts of environmental education, outreach, and awareness of surrounding Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois waterways and their watersheds.
Melvin Price Locks & Dam
Put into full-operation by 1994, Melvin Price Locks and Dam serves the Mississippi River as part of the nine-foot navigational channel maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Its location is significant in that it resides between two confluence points of the Mississippi River. Upstream of the structure the Illinois River flows into the Mississippi and just downstream the Missouri flows in as well. Melvin Price is one of the largest and most technologically advanced locks and dam systems on the Mississippi River today. It spans 1,160 feet across and is composed of nine tainter gates, which make up the dam and two locks. The main lock, used almost exclusively for commerce, accommodates 15-barge tows, and reaches 1,200 feet in length. The auxiliary lock stretches 600 feet and mainly serves recreational vessels such as riverboat cruises and personal watercrafts. This colossal structure is accessible to the public via the National Great Rivers Museum. Free daily tours of Melvin Price are available to the visiting public at 10am, 1pm, and 3pm, and private tours can be scheduled through the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau.