Are levees hurting MO wildlife?

Published: May. 23, 2018 at 1:45 AM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2018 at 1:11 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - While levees and dams protect where we live from flooding, is there a negative impact on the environment and wildlife we live near.

Southeast Missouri looked a lot different before the diversion channel was constructed. This region was all swamp lands back then and you almost all the homes were built on ridges.

Now that channel allows us to live and farm that former swampland because the channel diverts the water to the Mississippi River.

But for the land and wildlife, this might not be the best. Christopher Kennedy with the department of conservation says that the levees cause a bigger problem for the wildlife.

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The swampland used to naturally filter out the dirt and contaminants. Kennedy would like to see that filter back but knows we can't get rid of the levees.

"So I hope through time that we as a society learn to seek for that perfect balance between agriculture, transportation, recreation, and water quality and quantity, said Kennedy. "But it's gonna take all of us working together to really decide and find what that balance really is for our nation."

Kennedy says simply adding more trees could return some of that natural filtration and help fish in the Heartland. It's finding that balance that will help the wildlife and land in the area thrive.

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