My Sediments Exactly
Damage to the Missouri River “is clear and continuing” and could lead to “irreversible extinction of species,” according to a comprehensive report released yesterday by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The report called for “immediate and decisive action” and echoed demands by environmentalists to recreate an approximation of the river’s natural ebb and flow. Perhaps most significantly, the report condemned the river management techniques of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps quickly rejected two of the report’s most urgent recommendations: prompt remedies to improve the river’s flow and a moratorium on revising the Corps’ “master manual” for river management. Poor management of the river has separated it from its flood plain, shortened it by more than 200 miles, deprived it of sediment flow, and caused a decline in 51 of its 67 native fish species.