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The Atchafalaya River is a 170-mile (270 km) distributary of the Mississippi River and Red River in south central Louisiana (U.S.). It flows south, just west of the Mississippi River. The Atchafalaya River is navigable and provides a significant industrial shipping channel for the state of Louisiana, as well as the cultural heart of the Cajun Country. The maintenance of the river as a navigable channel of the Mississippi River has been a significant project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over a century.