Protecting The Mighty Kaw
Take Action to Protect the
Help us today to tell the Corps to end dredging on the Kaw by 2017!
With Memorial Day behind us, the unofficial start to summer is underway! One of my favorite summer activities is getting out on the river.
Picture your favorite river moment – the sun beating down, water flowing underneath your fingertips, a light breeze blowing coolly past you. Tell me that is not a perfect moment. The Kansas River, or the Kaw as it is called by local residents, provides these moments and many others to the people of Kansas.
However, the Kaw is in trouble. The Kansas River appeared as #10 on American Rivers’ 2012 list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. At risk for new sand and gravel dredging, the clean water, wildlife, and recreation we love about the Kansas River is threatened. We need your help to protect the clean water of the Kaw – for us and for our future.
Paddlesports are among the fastest growing segments of outdoor recreation according to the Outdoor Industry Foundation. The people of Kansas deserve a clean, safe place to put their kayak or canoe in and enjoy all the Kaw has to offer. New sand and gravel dredging has the potential to destroy ideal paddling conditions by lowering the water level of the river and causing erosion along the banks of the river.
Not only is recreation threatened by new dredging, but clean, safe drinking water is as well. The Kaw provides drinking water to over 600,000 people. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to drink water that was threatened by dredging.
Dredging increases sedimentation, erosion, contamination, and pollution by churning up old industrial pollutants (like PCBs and heavy metals) that have settled to the river bottom. This is a public health hazard, kills mussels, and destroys habitat for other aquatic life.
It is critical we put a stop to dredging. Currently, five companies are applying for permits to increase dredging in the Kansas River by nearly 50%, from 2.2 million to 3.2 million tons. There are also plans to begin dredging in areas previously closed off due to “unacceptable degradation.” For the river’s health, the Corps must carry out a new Environmental Impact Statement before making any decisions. Additionally, existing in-river dredging operations should, at most, be given a five-year non-renewable permit to conclude operations.
Whether you are concerned about your drinking water or clean, safe places to recreate, it is essential we band together and protect the Kaw. Help us today to tell the Corps to end dredging on the Kaw by 2017!