Missouri River project leaves big cleanup task

The Army Corps of Engineers, which recently completed a $425 million project to straighten and deepen the Missouri River, now needs $45.4 million to correct environmental damage done by the project, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The problem was caused by nearly 70 years of channel-narrowing to permit navigation on a 732-mile stretch of the river -- known as the Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project.

An environmental-impact statement says hundreds of thousands of acres of aquatic and terrestrial habitat were destroyed, with great losses of fish and wildlife -- including elimination of some species. The new proposal would restore or preserve 3,200 acres of aquatic area and develop 28,000 acres of timber-brush habitat and 16,900 acres of public lands betw een St. Louis and Sioux City, Iowa.

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