pallid sturgeon

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Farmers and environmentalists faced off at a hearing today in Jefferson City over a water project on the Missouri River west of Boonville.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a new chute at Jameson Island designed to protect the pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.  Building it would involve dredging along the Missouri River, and the Corps wants to dump the sediment back into the river.  The move is strongly opposed by farm interests.  Dale Ludwig with the Missouri Soybean Association says up to a million cubic yards of sediment could be dumped into the Missouri River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it’s changing its short-term approach to managing water levels on the Missouri River, following devastating flooding this summer in Missouri, Iowa and North Dakota.

Jody Farhat is chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management office in Omaha.  She says the Corps of Engineers will be more flexible this fall and winter in evacuating as much water as possible along the Missouri ahead of next year’s runoff season.