Environmentalists against One Lake Plan in Pearl River
A group of mayors and county representatives feel confident the proposed One Lake Plan is the best option for flood control in the Jackson area. However, a group of environmentalists think otherwise.
News 25’s Kendra Turley breaks down the impacts of the One Lake Plan.
A revised flood control plan out of Jackson has environmentalists on high alert. Cathy Shropshire with the Retired Mississippi Wildlife Federation said, “I think it is going to be very detrimental, not only to the Jackson Metropolitan Area, but maybe even more so along the Pearl River and especially on the Coast.”
The goal for the One Lake Plan is to expand the Pearl River outward to hold increased river levels. A group of local mayors and county representatives believe it would also provide waterfront development and recreational opportunities, but people who spend a significant amount of time on the river say widening it is the worst option. Pearl River fisher Gary Parker said, “The river is getting shallower. It’s getting wider. A lot of banks are washing out and caving in, trees are caving in and they’re wanting to enlarge it and make it bigger.”
The One Lake Plan would remove seven miles of habitat for protected species, disrupt river flow, and negatively impact key industries along the Gulf Coast. Andrew Whitehurst with the Gulf Restoration Network said, “It’s got more freshwater discharge than all the Pontchartrain Rivers combined. So, the importance of the Pearl and its continued flow of fresh water can’t be underestimated.”
Environmentalists are now in the process of educating the community on less disruptive options for flood control. “We need to look at maybe buyouts, maybe look at levees in some areas. I think there’s a combination of things that could be looked at that would be less of a detrimental impact to the watershed.”