The bed of the Missouri River is lowering, which has the potential to cost the region millions in infrastructure damage and lost business revenue. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced its intent to complete a Missouri River Bed Degradation Study that will assess riverbed degradation between Rulo, Neb., and St. Louis, Mo., focusing on the stretch of river in the Kansas City area where degradation is the most severe. The Corps is seeking public input about the scope of the study.
Riverbed degradation affects water levels and destabilizes river banks, putting public and private infrastructure at risk. Over time, degradation will:
• Jeopardize roads, bridges and levees
• Threaten water supply systems such as water intakes, wells and pipelines
• Undermine dikes, levees and other flood-protection structures
• Disrupt local ecosystems, wetlands and animal habitat
• Destabilize river banks
The Mid-America Regional Council and the Corps of Engineers will host a public scoping meeting on Tuesday, March 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the MARC Conference Center, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, Mo. The meeting will provide an opportunity for citizens to contribute their ideas about what issues the study should address and other related concerns. The Corps encourages Kansas City area residents to join the discussion about the environmental, social and economic effects of riverbed degradation and proposed actions to alleviate it.
People can share their input in several ways:
1. Attend the meeting on March 11 to make comments in person.
2. Submit comments online at http://www.marc.org/Environment/Water-Resources/Missouri-Riverbed-Degradation/Get-Involved.aspx
3. Mail comments to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District c/o CENWK-PM-PR (Degradation Study) 601 E. 12th Street Kansas City, MO 64106 The deadline for public comment is March 31, 2014.