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Restoring the Lower Snake River

The Army Corps proposes to dredge the Snake without a lawful plan. 

PortofLewistonOne of the many problems created by the four Lower Snake dams is the massive accumulation of silt piling up behind them. In just a few decades, millions of cubic yards of sediment have settled in the reservoir behind Lower Granite Dam. It's created a worsening flood risk for Clarkston (WA) and Lewiston (ID) and an expensive problem for the Corps of Engineers—and American taxpayers.

Last summer the Corps released its draft plan to "manage" the sediment - involving dredging and other expensive, harmful measures. The agency had hoped to finalize its $55M plan by this fall, so dredging could proceed this winter, but pulled it back for a year in recognition that it couldn't defend the adverse impacts to salmon and water quality. Thanks to the efforts of SOS, campaign partner groups and supporters like you, we stopped the Corps from moving forward with its expensive, ill-conceived plan. 

The Corps wants to dredge to maintain the lower Snake shipping channel.  With barge shipping down more than 50 percent in the past decade, however, the waterway's value to shippers is sinking while the cost to taxpayers is rising. Businesses are increasingly choosing to ship by rail and truck rather than barge.

Desperate for revenue, the Ports can't wait. They're now trying to attract Big Oil - hoping to deliver their industrial “megaloads” upriver via barge, to then continue via truck over Idaho's Highway 12 to the Alberta tar sands. This fall, local residents, the Nez Perce Tribe and conservation groups successfully halted - for now - these megaloads from traveling Idaho's scenic corridor due to concerns over highway damage, public safety, threats to the Lochsa River and tribal resources.  

With dredging delayed at least a year, The Corps is trying to rush through an end-run around the law to allow the Ports of Lewiston and Clarkston to dredge on their own without a completed environmental review or economic analysis - without a lawful plan.

Please Take Action Today: The Army Corps and Ports need to hear from you by December 18. 

Tell the Ports and Corps that dredging should not proceed until a thorough environmental and economic review has been completed. You can read the Corps' proposal here.

Go to our alert here to send an email today. Thank you!


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