The Advocate » If you drive out to the middle of nowhere and keep going, you can see where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is battling with the forces of nature. At the confluence of the Mississippi, Atchafalaya and Red rivers, the Corps has erected towering gates that bend the flow of the water. Without human intervention, the current channel of the Mississippi River would slow to a trickle while the Atchafalaya would swell.