The Missouri River Is Among the Most Endangered Rivers in America
|Flooding is the Missouri River's great ailment.|
According to American Rivers, 75 years of flood control that relies mainly on channelization and dredging has stripped the river of its former identity as a broad, sediment-laden river (it wasn't known as The Big Muddy for nothin') and transformed it into a series of reservoirs on the upper stretch and deep channels on the lower stretch. The result is enhanced flood risk and a continuing threat to wetlands and the supported wildlife.
American Rivers recommends a "smarter, more natural, adaptive" flood response plan for the Missouri that uses "sound science and public involvement" to chart a new course, rather than a reliance on dams and levees. The benefits of doing so include increased safety, better water quality, more natural habitat for wildlife and better recreational use of the river -- all of which would equal a more healthy Missouri River.