Pascagoula River

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The Pascagoula River is a river, about 80 miles (130 km) long, in southeastern Mississippi in the United States. [1] The river drains an area of about 8,800 square miles (23,000 km²) and flows into Mississippi Sound of the Gulf of Mexico. The Pascagoula River Basin is managed by the Pat Harrison Waterway District. [2]

It is significant as the only unaffected (or nearly so) river with a discharge of over 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi) per year flowing from the United States into the Gulf of Mexico, and indeed the only one in the Cfa Köppen climate classification zone anywhere in the world, with the nearest approaches being the Juquiá and Itajaí in southeastern Brazil [3] (The Yuan Jiang and Shinano Gawa are comparable to those Brazilian rivers but are only marginally in the Cfa zone). As a result, the Pascagoula has, in modern times, been the focus of a great deal of effort regarding its conservation [4] to prevent the construction of dams on it.

The water district manager has proposed the construction of a couple of dams on tributaries called the Big and the Little Cedar creeks to manage the river's flow during a drought crisis which has occurred on September 6, 2015 at 1.15 ft and October 8, 2000 at .20 feet (Graham Ferry gauge). [5] [6]

George and Jackson counties, the two counties closest to the Gulf, have two separate wildlife management areas called Water trails that provide controlled recreation such as camping, birding, or canoeing. [7]


Pascagoula River at Pascagoula, Mississippi, circa 1900

The Pascagoula River is formed in northwestern George County by the confluence of the Leaf and Chickasawhay Rivers and flows generally southward through swampy bottomlands in George and Jackson Counties. In its lower course the river forms several channels and bayous; its largest such distributary is the West Pascagoula River, which flows into the Mississippi Sound at Gautier. The main channel passes Escatawpa and Moss Point and flows into the sound at Pascagoula. At low water the tidal effects are felt more than forty miles upstream. [8]


Pascagoula is a name derived from the Choctaw language meaning "bread people". [9]

According to the Geographic Names Information System, [10] the river has also been known as:

  • East Pascagoula River (below the branching off of the West Pascagoula River)
  • Fiume Pescagoula
  • Pasca Oocooloo River
  • Pascoboula River
  • Paska Okla River
  • Paspagola River
  • Pasquagola River
  • Rio de Pascagula
  • Riviere des Pascagoula
  • Riviere des Pascagoulas
  • Singing River (lower 8 miles of the river) [11]

See also


  1. ^ The Pascagoula River Basin Retrieved 2012-08-28
  2. ^ Pat Harrison Waterway District Retrieved 2012-12-20
  3. ^ Nilsson, C., Reidy, C. A., Dynesius, M., and Revenga, C. 2005. Fragmentation and flow regulation of the world’s large river systems. Science 308: pp. 405-408 (Supporting Material; p.13)
  4. ^ The Pascagoula River: Paradise in Peril Retrieved 2012-08-28
  5. ^ National Weather Service River Forecast Center. Lower Mississippi RFC. "Pascagoula River and Gulf Drainage Basins" Retrieved 11 September 2015. NOAA website
  6. ^ U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Mobile). (4 September 2015) "Joint Public Notice SAM-2014-00653-MBM" Retrieved 11 September 2015. US Army Corps of Engineers website
  7. ^ Broom, Brian. (26 April 2015). "Pascagoula River goes blue". Clarion Ledger. (Jackson). Retrieved 11 September 2015. Clarion Ledger website
  8. ^ United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Mobile District.; Gulf Regional Planning Commission. (June 1970). Flood plain information : Pascagoula-Gautier coastal area, Jackson County, Mississippi. Mobile, Ala. : The District. p. 3.
  9. ^ Baca, Keith A. (2007). Native American Place Names in Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi. p. 78. ISBN  978-1-60473-483-6.
  10. ^ GNIS Detail - Pascagoula River. Accessed 2015-03-11.
  11. ^ Legend of the Singing River Retrieved 2012-08-28 Unavailable 2015-03-11.

Latitude and Longitude:

30°45′18″N 88°40′01″W / 30.75500°N 88.66694°W / 30.75500; -88.66694