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NFC: Fw: [Corps] Release on Wasteful Corps Projects
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:
March 2, 2000 Tim Stearns, NWF * 206-286-4455, ext 10
Nicole Cordan, NWF * 503-230-0421
Susan Crisfield, NWEA * 503-295-0490
Peter Huhtala, CDOG * 503-325-8069
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS LOWER SNAKE RIVER DAMS AND COLUMBIA RIVER DREDGING AS
OF THE TOP 25 MOST WASTEFUL, ENVIRONMENTALLY HARMFUL PROJECTS IN NATION
PORTLAND: Today the National Wildlife Federation and Taxpayers for Common
Sense released a report that identifies the top 25 worse U.S. Corps of
Engineers projects. The Corps four lower Snake River dams and its
and Willamette Rivers channel deepening project both made the report's
25 list, with the lower Snake River dams ranking seventh.
"This really shouldn't be a surprise," said Tim Stearns, Director of the
Western Natural Resource Center of National Wildlife Federation. "Corps
Engineers' projects are too often driven by politics and not by real need
or environmental concern. The Snake River dams and deepening of the
Columbia and Willamette Rivers are two regional examples that have a huge
impact on the ultimate fate of salmon and steelhead throughout the Basin.
The people of the region, and I believe the nation, are tired of paying
bill to watch these magnificent species spiral into extinction at the
of the Corps."
The NWF/TCS report states that $3 billion have already been spent in
to lessen the dams impact on salmon runs in the Columbia River Basin.
yet, the salmon runs continue to plummet and the prospect of increasing
monies spent on failed technological fixes at the dams looms
"Enough is enough," said Nicole Cordan, Regional Organizer, National
Wildlife Federation. "This report is just another indication of why
keeping these dams just doesn't make sense any more. They continue to
fish and they continue to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. And we're
getting nothing in return. We need to stop these wasteful Corps projects
and begin to rebuild these ecosystems."
The Corps is responsible for the construction and maintenance of over
federal water resources projects, including 11,000 miles of inland
navigation channels, 8,500 miles of levees and floodwalls, and more than
500 dams. Though some of these projects may be necessary for economic
development, many of them demonstrate the belief that engineering has the
capacity to replumb and reshape the nation's water resources without
negative consequences. However, this report highlights that vast
ecosystems are being damaged and billions of taxpayer dollars are being
wasted while the Corps promotes this fallacy.
"This report underscores the issues Northwest Environmental Advocates has
been expressing for months concerning the channel deepening project,"
Susan Crisfield, Channel Deepening Coordinator, Northwest Environmental
Advocates. "This project is a bad deal for the environment; it's a bad
deal for the listed salmon and steelhead; and it's a bad deal for the
people of this region and the nation."
The report identifies the Corps' deepening project on the Columbia and
Willamette Rivers as one of the top 25 worst projects in the nation. The
report highlights the hundreds of miles of dredging that this project
require, the vast environmental losses including destruction of wetlands
and key salmon and steelhead habitat, and the more than $195 million
dollars that would be spent on this devastating project. See the report
www.taxpayer.net or www.nwf.org.
"I was skeptical of the figures the Corps used to justify the deepening
this channel," said Peter Huhtala, Director of the Columbia Dredging
Opposition Group. "Now I have a feeling that I wasn't suspicious enough.
This channel deepening would be an environmental nightmare and an
waste. Investigation may reveal that it is worse than it appears."