Nixon urges corps to put Mo. River project on hold

Sep 24, 2013

The Missouri River project's goal is to help the pallid sturgeon.
The Missouri River project's goal is to help the pallid sturgeon.
Credit SuperIDR / flickr

Gov. Jay Nixon is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop work on a Missouri River project designed to help an endangered fish.

In a letter to a top corps official, Nixon says more research is needed to ensure that improving shallow-water habitat at Jameson Island will help the pallid sturgeon and won't cause harm.

Concerns stem from plans to put excavated soil in the river. Last month, the Missouri Farm Bureau and nine other groups asked Nixon to weigh in on the central Missouri project.

Farm groups fear putting soil in the river will contribute to a "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico. Because those low-oxygen conditions are blamed on farm-fertilizer runoff, they fear they'll get the blame. The corps says there isn't a problem.