“Now is the time to shut down all river
dredging, not expand it so drastically.
Will the future of the Kaw look Like this: Or this:
From the Public Notice issues in November of 2011: Five Kansas sand and gravel companies recently proposed to increase dredging on the Kansas River by more the 50%, including re-opening stretches previously closed because of unacceptable degradation from earlier dredging activities. That proposal is currently under review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with a decision expected sometime this year.
"The America's Most Endangered Rivers report is a call to action to save rivers that are facing a critical tipping point," says Fay Augustyn of American Rivers. "We all need healthy rivers for our drinking water, health, economy and quality of life. We hope citizens will join us to ensure a clean, healthy Kansas River for generations to come."
"The Kaw River is truly at a crossroad," says Laura Calwell, the Kansas Riverkeeper and executive director of Friends of the Kaw. "This dredging decision will have a big impact on our future water security. The Kansas administration has been very proactive in water conservation issues in other parts of the state, and we hope they can bring this conservation stance to bear on water quality issues in the Kaw Valley."
"Hopefully this American Rivers designation will alert Kansans to the economic potential of further recreational and business development on the river," says Chad Lamer, president of Friends of the Kaw. "The Department of Interior has named the Kansas River Water Trail as a top priority, and this project could mean a lot to communities along the river."
Most Endangered River Award General Information
Kansas Action Alert - here you can download the Kansas River Press Release & Kansas Most Endangered River Fact Sheet
What You Can Do
About the Report
Kansas Public Radio Story
Lawrence Journal World Article
Topeka Capitol Journal Article
41 Action News Report
WIBW News Report
American River's Blog by Dr. Melinda Daniels
KC Star Letter to the Editor by Mary Helen Korbelik
Five companies have applied for thirteen dredging permits in Johnson, Wyandotte, Douglas, and Shawnee Counties (ten existing sites and three new). Four applicants are seeking to expand their operations by expanding their dredging range, increasing tonnage removed, or re-opening areas the Army Corps already closed due to “unacceptable degradation” from previous dredging.
Currently, these five
companies are authorized to extract a total of 2.2 million tons from the river.
The new permits would increase that number by almost 50%, to 3.2 million tons.
New study captures dredging damage to the Kaw
New research from K-State (see press release) shows that these private dredging operations widen and deepen the Kaw River channel, leading to a drop in the water level of the river and of the nearby water table and causing riverbank erosion. In a sand bed river like the Kaw, dredge holes also have the capacity to migrate both up and downstream, not stopping unless they hit a hard structure like bedrock or a dam.
Dredging physically damages the river channel in ways that threaten public river uses - water accessibility for drinking water treatment and irrigation intakes, habitat for fish communities, soil conservation of some of the nation's most valuable farmland, and preservation of taxpayer-funded structures like bridge footings and flood control.
This new information calls into question the 1991 EIS
and regulatory plan that the USACE uses to assess the Kaw – information that is
more than two decades old.
NO MORE RIVER DREDGING
The cumulative, damaging effects of river dredging are not in the public interest. (More facts available here).
Damage to our drinking water.
Erosion of private property and taxpayer infrastructure.
Economic benefits to ending dredging.