Thursday, October 24, 2019

Feds: One Lake Won't Harm Wildlife

The Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District issued the following press release.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today issued a report stating that the proposed Pearl River flood control project in Jackson, Mississippi would not jeopardize threatened species or critical habitats within and around the project area. 

“This report confirms what we have long believed based on our own environmental studies,” said Robert Graham, Hinds County Supervisor and board member for the Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District.  “The USFWS has now confirmed that this project, with the mitigation measures we have planned, will not harm the existence of the ringed map turtle, gulf sturgeon, or the other species living in and around the project area.  Opponents have long claimed that the project would harm these species, but today the federal regulatory agency overseeing this issue has debunked that argument.” 

Per the Endangered Species Act, the USFWS is required to provide a report called a Biological Opinion (BO) assessing whether a project like this will jeopardize the continued existence of species listed as endangered or threatened, or result in the destruction or adverse impact to those species’ critical habitat.  The USFWS found that the project will not meet either of those criteria.

For a copy of the full report, visit

Gulf Sturgeon

The BO states that the project “…is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the Gulf Sturgeon” and the project’s effects “…would not be appreciable for the survival and recovery of the Gulf Sturgeon.”  The USFWS pointed to the inclusion of a fish passage around the new weir at the south end of the project area when stating: “After construction has been completed, it is probable that sturgeon could return to the area as long as it is a year when water flow is high enough to migrate past the Poole’s Bluff Sill [located over 200 miles south of the project near Bogalusa, Louisiana].”

It also stated that the “…flow regime, sediment quality, and migratory pathways would not be impacted by the construction of the channel excavation and levee relocation…” contemplated in the project design.  While water quality and sediment quality would be impacted during construction, the USFWS concludes that this would be temporary and would have only minimal impacts on food sources for the sturgeon.  They conclude that the project would not adversely impact the critical habitat or the ability to support the Gulf sturgeon in this part of the Pearl River.

Ringed Map Turtle

In terms of the ringed map turtle population in the project area, the BO states that “…implementation of the [project] is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the ringed map turtle.” 

While construction could affect up to 2 percent of the total population of the turtle, the USFWS believes this loss will be offset by the long term mitigation measures that are planned.  Planned mitigation measures include restoration of lost habitat, preservation of nesting areas, and monitoring which will provide valuable data for the USFWS, consistent with the Recovery Plan for the species.

Ultimately, the USFWS states that the project “…is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the ringed map turtle.” 

The Project

Over the past 100 years, headwater flooding of the Pearl River has caused disruption to the Jackson metropolitan area.  Over 5,000 homes, businesses, and other structures were impacted by the historic 1979 flood, and another Easter Flood would cause more than $1 billion in combined property damage and lost economic activity.  Approximately 100 miles of roadways (including I-55), other critical infrastructure, and access to major hospitals in Jackson and Flowood remain at risk for another large scale flood on the Pearl River. 

Federal, state, business, and community leaders have been instrumental in pursuing a solution for decades.  The current plan for flood protection has made more progress toward approval than any in the past.  USFWS is just one of the dozen or so state and federal regulatory agencies that have been involved in vetting and commenting on the project to date.  The public was given an opportunity to weigh in on the project last year, and will be given another chance for comment before the final decision on the project.

The Flood Control District expects to submit the final report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers soon, after which the project will be assessed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works at the Corps of Engineers in Washington, DC who has authority to provide final approval. 

About the Flood Control District

The Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District is a public agency made up of the mayors of Jackson, Flowood, Pearl, and Richland as well as representatives from Hinds County, Rankin County, and the State of Mississippi.  The District Board administers and oversees the maintenance of the existing levee system that has been in place since 1967.   It is organized under the Urban Flood and Drainage Control Law for the purpose of aiding in achieving the goals of flood control, conservation, and development of lands and property for the general health and welfare of the residents within the District. For more information, visit



Anonymous said...

Quoting Leftenant Roberto Graham. What a supreme waste of blog space.

Anonymous said...

This is great news,

Anonymous said...

Someone educate me. What is the goal of the one lake project? Is it supposed to create prime water front property in an area east of 55, south of the Rez, and west of Flowood? Is that really an area that people, with money, will want to live in?

Anonymous said...

This is about rich NE Jackson families getting even more rich. The massive new houses at end of Meadowbrook with the boat house and guest house bigger than most houses are developed by this individual and he has more money than he knows what to do with so he pushes an agenda.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I don't know. Ever heard of Notheast Jackson, Country Club of Jackson and Eastover? Why don't you pick up a map and figure it out before you show your ass on the internet?

Anonymous said...

A group of NE Jackson businessmen and a goal. That's the point. No environmental quality

Anonymous said...

You can search the Hinds & Rankin Tax Collector's GIS website for who owns the property that will become waterfront.

Anonymous said...

The Great Jackson Flood was in 1979.

1979. Let that sink in. Why has NO THING been done?

And yet the Delta is getting relief ASAP because of the 2019 flood?

What are the priorities?

Anonymous said...

There has been much already written about it, pro and con, so go ahead, get off your butt and self-educate yourself.

Anonymous said...

It will be one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country. And a handful of people will make a killing doing it. But I don’t care what they do, it still won’t make me come to that area.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of One Lake is to decrease the areas of Jackson that would flood in the case of events like the Easter Flood of 1979. One Lake was conceived by Mr. John McGowan, a native of Jackson, and in recent years has been financed by Mr. McGowan. No one else seemed to care about the devastation caused by heavy rains in 1979 and he designed One Lake to relieve the flooding. The EPA, under Democrat Leadership, threw up so many "roadblocks" that the project has moved very slowly through Washington. At last, and after years of persistence, a little more of the objections have been overcome. The waterfront sites are a bonus that should enhance many endeavors. The Corps of Engineers Levee Plan would have been awful and not an asset at all. A temporary dirt levee would have been built across Lakeland Drive everytime the threat of flooding happened.

Finish The Pumps said...

9:20 - Please site proof of your hollow claim that the Delta is getting help ASAP. Meanwhile, the feds say this lake will present no issues. The same feds that screwed up the Delta and the oyster beds and won't allow pumps - We are the only state on the river without pumps.

Anonymous said...

The Easter Flood of forty years ago? Is that the one? And today we're anticipating the next one? Let the man develop his property. Jackson sorely needs a new silk-stocking district. The old ones are so, well, used up.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:02
Are new to the metro Jackson area? Otherwise you would already know that some of the largest concentration of wealth in the state lives in the area that you just questioned. The family with a fulltime cook and staff as well as the beach house at pebble beach and had a beach house at Martha's vineyard that sold for 23 million lives there as well as the CSpire family. The problem for me is this unless you live in northeast Jackson with your kids at a private school and a member of the tennis club or Jackson CC you really aren't going to break thru in terms of your child being financially successful in Mississippi. All the money stays in this area and the families marry each other.

Anonymous said...

8:18, or is this about your animosity for someone who has made something of himself and desires to improve the area? More waterfront property = more development and more tax collections for democrats to waste on useless shit, in all actuality, this should make you happy.

Anonymous said...

If you read their report, it says the flood district will own all the land.

Anonymous said...

This topic always makes the Madisonites squirm.

Anonymous said...

They will own the land that is flooded by the lake, or the adjacent land that will go from being worthless mosquito forest to prime waterfront development?

Anonymous said...

My god, Mississippi is so backwards. This is the reason we will never get off the bottom. People here can’t stand progress or development because someone else might make a buck off of it. Even if it will benefit the community as a whole. The envy and jealousy is astounding. So what if a few landowners or developers makes some money? I’m all for it if it enhances the area.

Anonymous said...

I don’t get why people can be so negative about a project that will be so beneficial to development to the metropolitan area. The lake will be maintained at a steady level just like the reservoir. No more threat of major flooding! People would rather have a swamp in the middle of the area? I see a bunch of bitter old people who just hate to see any good come to the area commenting here.

Louis LeFleur said...

Reminder to all who seem to have forgotten: The Easter Flood of 1979 was not the only flood in Jackson. There was another, lessor one in 1983 that did a lot of damage as well. There have been many threats since, but far only minor flooding, thanks in part to the Reservoir now being used as a flood control lake that it was never designed to be. I don't know this for sure, but assume that the One Lake project would at least ease up the necessity of using the RBR as a flood control lake and enhance its recreational lake qualities.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would anyone care if someone gets richer? In my opinion One Lake is the only thing that may save Jackson. The hard working blue collar class will benefit from 1000’s of jobs just to get the lake built. 10’s of millions will come into the state for land, road and bridgework. The so called lake houses resulting for the Creekmores and McGowans is only s fraction of the shoreline around the lake. Every dollar spent in construction and at new businesses will circulate many times throughout the local economy. There simply is no other project that can do this for Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Why is there so much animosity towards Hinds County/Jackson on this website? Why do people not want others to do well for themselves? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

"Alternative C includes the construction of additional natural areas and parks within significant portions of the project fill areas. Non-consumptive activities, such as hiking, outdoor photography, and wildlife viewing, would increase as these areas would be publicly available. These areas would complement Lefleur’s Bluff State Park. Conversion of the forestland and other habitat types that currently exist and are inaccessible to water, will occur with the implementation of Alternative C. This alternative would increase water-dependent recreational opportunities, such as fishing, boating, and canoeing through additional public access such as boat ramps. Non-consumptive uses would increase because of the inclusion of multipurpose trails, wildlife viewing areas, amphitheaters, and campgrounds. The additional public access boat ramps and pedestrian access points associated with this alternative would increase recreation within the project area. Alternative C would improve access to the riverfront, increasing the opportunity for public recreational utilization. "

Cynical Sam said...

We have our lakefront home at Lake Caroline and our beachfront home at Palm Beach, so go for it. We can't see it from our homes, and our full-time cooks won't mind.

At least the Hinds Co/City taxes are low, right?

Anonymous said...

This will be the most polluted and trashiest body of water in the country.

Anonymous said...

7:44 You are talking about Yazoo County. a big bucket of piss ants

Anonymous said...

To: Taxpayer/Citizen
Fr : Your Government
Subject: One Lake Project

Bend over, we going in dry.

Anonymous said...

@9:08, probably because those grumps are miserable with how their lives turned out, and can't seem to conjure a positive thought...about anything, they must be a lot of fun at parties!

Anonymous said...

8:45, true; but as soon as the "racial conscience" (you know who I'm talking about) of Mississippi weighs in on which minority contractors will win the work, the project will quickly become mired in budget overruns and blown timelines.

If it gets built, I think this will become a great place for the people of Jackson to hide bodies, dump trash, take drugs and steal everything that isn't bolted down.

Cynical Sam said...

Alternatively, Lake Hico is an ideal location for lakefront McMansions.

Anonymous said...

The Meadowbrook lake houses are a gated neighborhood that 99% of the people on here will never dream of being able to afford. The McGowan family has more money that we know. As well as the rest of the people that live there. Take your middle class burb mentality elsewhere. You clearly know nothing.

Anonymous said...

Kafka says:


Hate to say it, but the one per centers have always lived that way. Only poor people and the working class get married out-of-love. Truly wealthy people, like the ones you allude to, arrange their kids' marriages. Always have, always will. Money and blood must be bonded to last for generations.

How else do you think Tater managed to get a wife? "Please daddy, anyone but him! He reminds me of Uriah Heep."

Anonymous said...

Not sure how this concept, even if pursued, would make 'Madison Countians SQUIRM'. Nobody in Madison County gives a shit about this pie in the sky plan, any more than they gave a shit about the Zoo issues or the revitalization of the slum area of Farish Street or spiffy-ing up the downtown park to make bums and transients more comfortable sleeping on newspapers or begging for coins. None of this crap impacts sensible people, none of whom live in or frequent Jackson.

Anonymous said...

2:52 sounding scared.

Anonymous said...

Look... bottom line is this those that live in Jackson do so because they can afford to send multiple kids to private schools and join a country club. The burbs are working middle and some upper middle class. Stop the fighting.

Anonymous said...

So, this "OK" as to the probable impact of the 'One Lake' scheme, upon endangered species, comes from the same government which gave us Daylight Savings Time, Forced Busing, and the "Food Pyramid"?

THAT government? ...the one whose dietary guidelines (considered that they were subsequently adopted by many nations - because if America was recommending it, it must be based on solid science...right?) have, by now, killed more people than Hitler (dietary guidelines encouraging abundant consumption of grains, sugars, and "vegetable oils", which, as it turns out, were established by lobbyists rather than scientists - over the objections of scientists, who were largely intimidated into silence).

That "OK" may have removed a few obstacles delaying completion of the 'One Lake' project. But whoever did the study, reached the conclusions they were TOLD to reach. That's how scientists keep their jobs. Personally, I'll continue to worry about the Sturgeons.

Kingfish said...

Why do you think Bennie suddenly opposes the project? Purely a shakedown.

He simply wants to do for flood control what he did for the Raymond Detention Center.

Anonymous said...

Funny 2.52. Care to guess where all these negative comments come from? It’s not Jackson. Who would be against a project that could do so much for Hinds and Rankin County? Maybe someone in a neighboring country that will not benefit? Was that you Queen Mary?

Anonymous said...

4:57 Thank you for connecting the dots. I knew the One Lake supporters were behind all of those so called Government Conspiracies!
It was the One Lake all along!!
#OneRiverNoLake 4 eva!

Anonymous said...

Dietary Guidelines = One Lake

Anonymous said...

6:35 - good point.
Isn’t it the same groups like Sierra Club, Audubon Society and Gulf Restoration Network (or whatever they’re calling themselves now) that have opposed and spread BS about the Yazoo Pump that are also doing the same about One Lake??
When are people going to stop believing all of their conspiracy theories?
Seriously, what are those groups FOR and not AGAINST?

Anonymous said...

I hate it when other people are rich. Mostly because I want their money. But if I cannot have their money, I’d rather they had no money either. That makes me feel better.

I sure don’t want rich people to make more money. That makes me feel worse.

I don’t care if their money builds nice things like lakes or phone companies or restaurants. I’d rather have nothing which is what I have anyway.

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