The Army Corps of Engineers is moving forward with the Jameson Island Project near Arrow Rock. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Project Manager Zach White:
The Corps has been working with the State of Missouri for about two years. The Jameson Island Project is part of the Missouri River Recovery Program. It will be a flow-through chute that takes water off the Missouri River and through the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. It will help the Corps comply with the biological opinion of the river. The $3.5 million project will benefit all Missouri native river fish, including the endangered pallid sturgeon.
White said they have heard some opposition. Some farmers do not like to see land that could be used for farming turned into a conservation area. Supporters see the need for environmental restoration and conservation in Missouri. The Corps received about 500 letters during the public comment period. White said opinions were split down the middle.
“We did do a lot of outreach for the project. And we also worked very closely with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to address the concerns of people who may have been opposed to the project. Some of those concerns had to do with where we were placing the material and how much material we would be placing,” said White, ” We worked very, very closely with the Missouri Department of Conservation to address those concerns.”
White said the shallow-water habitat they are trying to create is very rare, and will be beneficial for all native fish including the pallid sturgeon.