Head of Passes

 Head of Passes is where the main stem of the Mississippi River branches off into three distinct directions at its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico: Southwest Pass, Pass A Loutre and South Pass. They are part of the "Bird's Foot Delta", the youngest lobe of the evolving Mississippi River Delta.

29°09′25″N 89°15′14″W / 29.157°N 89.254°W

The Head of Passes is considered to be the location of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The US Army Corps of Engineers maintains a 45-foot shipping channel from the mouth of Southwest Pass—20 miles downriver from the Head—up to Baton Rouge, the US's farthest inland deep-water port.

The Mouth of Passes is the aggregate of the individual mouths of the passes connected to the Head of Passes, including the Southwest, South, North Passes and Pass a Loutre. While the majority of the discharge of the Mississippi River flows through these mouths, a portion of the river flows out of the Atchafalaya River mouth, and a small portion continues to seep out of the 200 miles of the Delta shoreline.

During the American Civil War, Head of Passes was the site of several naval battles.

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