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Alexandria in Douglas County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Minnesota Watersheds

 
 
Minnesota Watersheds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2020
1. Minnesota Watersheds Marker
Inscription.  Lying at the center of the North American continent, Minnesota embraces three great watersheds -- areas of land from which all surface water eventually flows into a single stream. From Minnesota's watersheds, water runs of in three directions to three different seas:
In the largest of the watersheds, water flows south through the Mississippi River and its tributaries to the Gulf of Mexico.
From northeastern Minnesota and its St. Louis River system water drains eastward into Lake Superior and moves through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.
In northwestern Minnesota, water flows north by way of the Red River of the North and the Rainy River into Canada's Lake Winnipeg and on to Hudson Bay.
These three areas have very different physical features. The St. Louis River watershed is rough, hilly and heavily wooded. Many of its streams have swift currents, abound with waterfalls, and rarely overflow their steep, rocky banks.
The watershed of the Red River of the North lies largely on flat prairie land. Riverbanks are low and currents sluggish. Minnesota's north-flowing streams are particularly prone to spring
Minnesota Watersheds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2020
2. Minnesota Watersheds Marker
flooding when runoff from melting snows and warm rains in the southern part of the watershed reaches northern areas still frozen over or clogged with ice flows.
The Mississippi watershed combines features of the other two. Generally the upper portion is heavily forested, with rolling terrain and swift streams. Farther down, currents slow as the streams meander through open prairies, where they may overflow their banks in times of high water.
Since 1909 state and federal agencies have been charged with regulating Minnesota's waters. In addition watershed districts today oversee such activities as water supply, drainage, flood control and pollution control. Such regulation helps conserve Minnesota's abundant water resources for use and enjoyment today and by future generations.
 
Erected 1997 by Minnesota Historical Society and State of Minnesota, Department of Highways.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Natural ResourcesWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 45° 52.155′ N, 95° 26.935′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Minnesota, in Douglas County. Marker is on Interstate 94 at milepost 97 near State Highway 27, on the right when traveling east. This marker is at the Lake Lakota Rest Area. Touch for map. Marker
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is in this post office area: Alexandria MN 56308, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Douglas County Courthouse (approx. 3.4 miles away); Theodore A. Erickson (approx. 3.4 miles away); Red River Ox Cart Trails (approx. 5˝ miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 29, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 29, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Jan. 25, 2021