Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big Muddy Mud

Jameson Island Chute, Missouri River.
If you are digging mud out of a river bottom, you would certainly want to spread it out on the land, wouldn't you?  Above all you wouldn't want to dump it back into the water,  especially if it was from the "Big Muddy", e.g. the Missouri River.  The answer isn't as simple as it seems.  Experts on both sides are debating what to do with the dirt as they build a mile-long shallow water habitat chute in Jameson Island located in Arrow Rock bottoms on the Missouri River. 

David Casaletto, the Executive Director of Ozarks Water Watch discusses this problem in this week's Ozark Waters. The Corps of Engineers face a conflict between the Endangered Species Act versus the Clean Water Act. Recent studies have shown that dumping soil in the river did not increase hypoxia as expected. Further, "the Missouri River carries only 20 percent of the sediment load it once did, causing loss of habitat for native fish and bird species, including the pallid sturgeon and least tern."

Read about the debate which has "muddied the waters" of this project at Ozark Waters.

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