Our members who took action on the recent Yazoo Pumps alert have all received a surprise in the mail. It seems that the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg is sending a response letter to everyone who took action, stating that “project opponents” have been publishing misleading information about the project, and that the Yazoo Pumps project will actually improve the environment and lead to increased wetlands.Unfortunately, the true impact of the Yazoo Pumps is anything but positive and the Corps has been trying to put an upbeat spin on one of the greatest boondoggles ever conceived. Independent government agencies that have reviewed the Yazoo Pumps project have concurred with our assessment that the project would destroy a staggering amount of wetlands and important wildlife habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently stated very diplomatically, “We’re concerned that the negative impacts of this project on fish and wildlife is larger than the Corps acknowledges.”Over 540 independent wetland and aquatic scientists from throughout the country have also determined that the Yazoo Pumps would lead to tremendous wetland loss and that the Corps will be unable to mitigate for that loss. In a recent letter in The New York Times, the former Director of the EPA Wetlands Division wrote, “Over the course of my 24 years at the Environmental Protection Agency, I never reviewed a proposal that would do more damage to the environment than the Yazoo Pumps project in the Mississippi Delta.”It is unfortunate that the Army Corps is taking this unusual step of trying to promote this project that would destroy more wetlands than are lost to development in the entire country in one year. It is important that we keep the pressure up to stop this project and fight the misleading spin coming out of the Corps of Engineers public relations office. If you have already taken action, please take a moment to forward the alert on to five friends, family, or colleagues who care about the health of our Gulf as well.Jeff Grimes is Assistant Director of Water Resources for the Gulf Restoration Network

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