American Queen steamboat now providing water data from Mississippi River for scientists

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – The American Queen steamboat gives us a look back into Memphis’ past. But Monday, it got a big tool for the bluff city’s future.

The U.S. Geological Survey just installed the first private carry Mississippi River nutrient sensor on the boat. The state-of-the art sensor will continuously monitor water-quality.

It works while the boat is in port or if it’s steaming down the Mississippi. The data is then sent off and analyzed in the blink of an eye.

“So every 5 minutes or so, we’re getting a new sample. And then every 15 minutes we send it up to the satellites and send them back down where it now becomes part of the water record,” said Jim Reilly, U.S. Geological Survey Director.

The device will collect critical data on nitrogen and other water quality parameters.

An informational kiosk has also been installed on the riverboat so that guests on board can learn more about the project.

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