Upcoming in Kansas City, Mo.
Cancelled – Jameson Island at another crossroads
UPDATE – Due to the federal government shutdown, our presenters have cancelled their talk. We will still be gathering at Minsky’s for an informal discussion on the future of the Speaker Series and your ideas on improving it! Please join us!
Time and Place
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Minsky's Pizza - City Market
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UPDATE – Due to the federal government shutdown, our presenters have cancelled their talk. We will still be gathering at Minsky’s to discuss the future of the Speaker Series and your ideas on improving it! Please join us!
Presentation by Laurie Farmer and Zach White, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
6 p.m. Social Hour and dinner served
7 p.m. Presentation
NOTE: Hickok’s Grill is now closed.
NEW LOCATION: This month’s presentation will be at Minsky’s Pizza in the City Market – 427 Main St., Kansas City, MO
Governor Jay Nixon last week, at the request of many farmer groups in the state, sent a letter to the Corps of Engineers requesting that they halt work on the the Jameson Island Chute Habitat Project, which has been controversial since chute excavation began in 2006.
Farmer’s groups and the Missouri Clean Water Commission have maintained that dumping of excavated alluvial soil in the Missouri River pollutes the river and contributes to the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The Corps along with conservation groups claim that alluvial sediment is actually beneficial to the Missouri River system and that incorporating excavated sediment into the river is the most efficient way to recreate much needed habitat along the river.
Zach White and Laurie Farmer from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will lay out the history of the project, the science behind it, and the Corps’ reaction to the Governor’s letter.
In 2006, the Corps of Engineers began work on creating a new chute on the Jameson Island Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, essentially recreating Jameson Island itself. The chute is part of a plan to recreate varied habitats that were destroyed by the channelization of the river.
The project was shut down by a string of concerns and controversies about the placement of the chute and the dumping of excavated soil in the river, but the river itself finished the job during the high water events of 2008. However the Missouri Clean Water Commission imposed a moratorium on more chute excavation projects in the state requesting an independent review of the effects of dumping alluvial sediment into the river.
In 2011, the National Academy of Sciences published an independent review of the project, concluding that Corps’ habitat projects would be a minimal contribution to Gulf hypoxia while providing small benefits of sediment transport.
When the Corps proposed lengthening the chute it again in 2013, Jameson Island again became a flashpoint of controversy. This combined with a political reaction to the Flood of 2011 that suggested the Corps should stop work on fish and wildlife to concentrate on flood control has resulted in a letter from Governor Jay Nixon to the Corps requesting that the Corps stop work on chute excavations.
So environmentalists and conservationists side with the Corps of Engineers about dumping dirt in a river, and farmers, who continue to adopt and improve soil conservation methods, are fighting both with a warning of pollution in the Gulf of Mexico? What is going on here?
We’ll hear from the side of the Corps of Engineers this evening and hope you can join us.
The Big Muddy Speakers Series in Kansas City
is hosted by Friends of Lakeside Nature Center, Little Blue River Watershed Coalition, Missouri River Relief, Friends of Big Muddy and Healthy Rivers Partnership with the following list of partners. All speakers are presenting for free. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!
The Big Muddy Speaker Series is also held monthly in Rocheport and St. Charles.
Resources and Links
- Missouri River Recovery Program website
- Letter from Governor Jay Nixon to Corps of Engineers requesting Jameson Island project be halted (pdf)
- “Missouri River Planning – Recognizing and Incorporating Sediment Management” – National Academy of Sciences independent study of sediment and mitigation projects on the Missouri River.
- Jameson Island Project Implementation Report – produced by US Army Corps of Engineers, includes project history, science, plans (pdf)
- VIDEO – Clean Water Commission Meeting – 5-2-12 (youtube)
- MAP – Jameson Island planned and existing chutes (USACE)
Articles and Background
- Background and additional links on Big Muddy News
- “Nixon urges Corps to put Mo River Project on hold” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 24, 2013
- “Mo. debate stalls environmental efforts on river” – Associated Press, March 12, 2013
- “Waters muddied again in Jameson Island fight” – Marshall Democrat-News, January 11, 2013
- “Corps puts on press for Jameson Island plan” – Columbia Tribune, June 23, 2012
- “Murky Waters” – multimedia piece in Columbia Missourian detailing original chute controversy in 2007.
- Environmental Law perspective – Sandra Zellmer – “Mudslinging on the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers” – Presentation at 29th Annual Water Law Conference.
- Kristen Perry, former Clean Water Commission member – “Time to stop the dirt dumping again”
- “Does the Missouri River need more sediment?” – David Castelleto, Ozark Water Watch