The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced an unprecedented move to resurrect the wasteful, environmentally devastating Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project in Mississippi's South Delta. The costly, outdated project — initially authorized by Congress in 1941 — would drain and destroy up to 200,000 acres of Mississippi Flyway wetlands that support more than 450 species of birds and wildlife.
The Corps' own analysis has found that under the best-case scenario, two-thirds of the area would continue to flood even with the Pumps in place. There are more effective, less expensive flood control measures including elevating homes, and compensating farmers to restore cropland back to wetlands.
Tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers you oppose the Yazoo Pumps and that they should advance immediate, affordable flood risk solutions that will protect local communities and birds that depend on the Mississippi Flyway. The deadline to comment is November 30.
Note: Your signature will be sent directly to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a public comment period and become part of the public record.
I am writing to express my opposition to the Corps' renewed effort to construct the wasteful, environmentally devastating drainage project known as the Yazoo Backwater Pumps. The recently released Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is fundamentally flawed and incomplete. This proposal is identical to the long-vetoed proposal found to be antiquated, ineffective, and ecologically destructive. Instead, the Corps should focus on immediate, affordable, and effective solutions to protect birds and communities that depend on the Mississippi Flyway.
I oppose the Yazoo Pumps because I care deeply about our country's natural resources. The Corps' own analysis of the 2019 flooding found that 68 percent of the area would continue to flood under the best-case scenario even with the Pumps in place. Clearly, the Pumps are not designed to protect communities from flooding but rather to drain 200,000 acres of wetlands so that a small number of agribusiness operations can expand production.
In 2008, the George W. Bush administration vetoed the project through the Clean Water Act based on the Pumps' environmental impacts. The veto was upheld by a federal judge and affirmed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Communities plagued by flooding in the Mississippi Delta deserve smart safeguards that get people and property out of harm's way, such as elevating homes and roads and compensating farmers to restore cropland to wetlands.
[your comments here]
I urge the Corps to abandon its misguided efforts to build the Yazoo Pumps and, instead, work to advance immediate, affordable flood risk solutions that will protect local communities and important wildlife habitat.