DUMP THE PUMPS!
The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has announced an unprecedented move to resurrect the destructive Yazoo Backwater Pumps in Mississippi’s South Delta by fast tracking efforts to revive the antiquated drainage project.
The Pumps are not intended to protect communities from flooding; rather, 80% of the project benefits agribusiness by draining wetlands to plant crops. In fact, under the best-case scenario, 68% of the area would continue to flood even with the Pumps in place (see BLUE on map below).
Authorized by Congress in 1941 and stopped by the George W. Bush administration in 2008, the $440 million-dollar project would drain and destroy 200,000 acres of Mississippi Flyway wetlands that support over 450 species of birds and wildlife.
Instead of pushing forward to build the ineffective Pumps, the Corps should pursue immediate, targeted flood alternatives such as elevating homes, voluntary buyouts, and paying farmers to restore cropland back to wetlands.
Urge the Corps to advance immediate, affordable flood risk solutions that will protect local communities and get people out of harm’s way.