Nearly a dozen Missouri agriculture groups sent a letter to Gov. Jay Nixon calling for his support to oppose a dredging project in the Missouri River.
The project – near Arrow Rock, Mo. – was set up several years ago to create a shallow water habitat for several fish species including the pallid sturgeon – an endangered fish. Under the US Army Corps of Engineers plan, the soil excavated from the site would be deposited into the Missouri River.
The agriculture groups that signed the letter suggest dumping soil into the river contradicts the intent of statewide soil and parks tax that promotes soil conservation.
Blake Hurst is president of the Missouri Farm Bureau – one of the organizations that signed the letter. He says they support the protection of the aquatic ecosystem, but the protocol on where to dump the soil needs to change to protect the water supply.
“Obviously, we’re all concerned about hypoxia, we’re all concerned about algae blooms. We’re all concerned about sedimentation and also of course the loss of that much good top soil from Missouri,” Hurst says.
Hurst says public support from Nixon could essentially force the Corps to reconsider a previous alternative location to dump the soil away from the river.