Playing with nature is playing with fire

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

Ask any outdoors enthusiast who’s taken a boat ride along the Pearl River lately and they will tell you the river just isn’t what it used to be.

Low flows caused by a number of man made projects conducted have caused the amount of water that reaches Pearl River County to be negligible at best.

But Pearl River County isn’t the only place in the country where the Pearl River flows. It reaches far north into Jackson, our state’s capital, and beyond.

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Since the river goes through the center of that metropolitan area, the city is at risk of flooding.

A previous attempt to stop the flooding involved straightening the river and building levees in Jackson in the late 60s. But in 1979, flooding on a massive scale still occurred, causing today’s equivalent of $1 billion in damages.

In response, dozens of ideas have been pitched to again try to fix the problem. The powers that be settled on one, build a lake.

The thinking appears to be, not only would it solve their flooding problem, it would create economic opportunities in the form of residential and recreational development; the profits of which would be used to offset the cost of the lake’s construction.

There’s no way to accurately predict the future to alleviate concerns that the Pearl River Basin’s Mississippi Federal Flood Risk Management Project will be successful, while not negatively impacting the river as it is in Pearl River County and other areas. As such, many people along this natural resource are concerned.

No matter what happens, one thing is certain, just about every time people try change an aspect of nature, negative consequences follow.