Pearl River On 'Top 10' List Of Most Endangered Rivers

Apr 7, 2015

The Pearl River by Honey Island Swamp in Slidell, LA.
Credit Gulf Restoration Network

American Rivers came out with its 2015 list of top 10 most endangered rivers. The Pearl River that runs through Louisiana and Mississippi is included on this national list.

Each of the ten rivers are called "endangered" because they face some kind of big change on the horizon. In the case of Pearl River, it’s whether a new dam will be built in Jackson, Mississippi.

“Down in the lower part of the river, St. Tammany Parish is very concerned about this," says Helen Rose Patterson, Mississippi Organizer for the Gulf Restoration Network. She says the dam would restrict the flow of freshwater to the gulf and let more saltwater in at the mouth of the Pearl.

"That freshwater is so crucial for those estuaries in making sure we have healthy fish populations, shrimp populations, crab, oysters. And a lot of people around here make their living connected to that industry," she says. "Everyone from the people who harvested those things to processing, and on down to the restaurants that serve it."

Mississippi bills the dam as a much-needed flood control project. Louisiana opposes the plan, and hopes the Army Corps of Engineers will tell the developers to find a different solution for flooding — one that won’t affect the Pearl River’s natural flow.

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