A Tug of War: Environmentalists and U.S. Corps of Engineers At Odds Over Mississippi River

| July 28, 2000

A Tug of War: Environmentalists and U.S. Corps of Engineers At Odds Over Mississippi River

The U.S. Corps of Engineers is proposing to tamper with the 'dammed, dyked, ditched, and drained' Mississippi, especially 'to channelize a Mississippi tributary; construct flood control measures along the lower Mississippi; and to widen five locks on the upper portion of the river.' In the Memphis Flyer, Andrew Wilkins questions the Corps' credibility due to allegations of falsifying their books in favor of construction.

The issue is more complex than it may seem, notes Wilkins: 'Farmers want irrigation, citizens want flood control and recreation, ecologists and hunters want the wildlife protected, and shippers want a clear channel.'

The Corps argues that the work must be done in order to maintain reliable barge traffic flow and protect people from flooding. American Rivers, a national river conservation organization, says much of the work is unnecessary and would compromise what wildlife still exists along the Mississippi. By the end of this year the Corps of Engineers will determine whether the environmental impact of development outweighs economic benefits. -- Sara V. BuckwitzGo there>>

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