The Missouri River, the nation’s longest river, is threatened by an outdated levee system that constricts the river and is repeatedly damaged during floods. Climate change is expected to bring more extreme floods like the Great Flood of 2019. Without room to accommodate flood water safely, levees will keep failing, putting communities at risk while they are also grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason American Rivers has named the lower Missouri River #2 on the list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2020.
To immediately address the dual threats of COVID-19 and flooding along the Lower Missouri River, Lower Missouri River governors need to request special mission assignments for the US Army Corps of Engineers to set up contagion control around flood fighting efforts.
Federal and state agencies, and local communities along the lower Missouri River are evaluating how to repair and update their levee systems. Maintaining the status quo simply doesn’t make sense from an economic or ecological perspective – especially in an era of climate change. The good news is, the lower Missouri River levee system can be adapted to make room for floods by strategically implementing modifications to existing structural elements and a much greater use of nature-based solutions that will reduce flood risk and associated damage, save taxpayers money, and restore habitat for fish and wildlife.
Take action today!
Please urge the Governors of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to modify levees and commit to using nature-based solutions to manage lower Missouri River floods and keep communities safe.
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