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

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.
Buckwitz
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