Levees are the backbone of the flood control plan for the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) project. The system protects the vast expanse of the developed alluvial valley from periodic overflows of the Mississippi River. The mainstem levee system begins at the head of the alluvial valley at Cape Girardeau, Mo., and continues to Venice, La., approximately 10 miles above the Head of Passes near the Gulf of Mexico. The MR&T levee system includes 3,787 miles of authorized embankments and floodwalls. Of this number, nearly 2,216 miles are along the mainstem Mississippi River. The
remaining levees are backwater, tributary and floodway levees.