Category Archives: Army Corps of Engineers

The folly of building on a barrier island (and taxpayers foot the bill!)

This feature-length look at Dauphin Island, the barrier strip off the Gulf coast of Alabama take a nice hard look at what is surely the folly of building on a place that nature wants to move – all the time. And climate change and sea-level rise are only making the whole thing even more disastrous (hurricanes notwithstanding).

Proposed Va. toll highway hits speed bump over wetlands

Cute headline here from the Norfolk paper. In any case, a stated reason for the hew highway, I-460, is relieving congestion on I-64. But, as usual, the highway engineers, in this case the Virginia Department of Transportation, are clueless. New roads built to relieve congestion  on existing ones always become congested themselves, sometimes in just a matter of weeks. The Army Corps of Engineers is correctly worried about the sanctity of wetlands (under the Clean Water Act). So, will VDOT get is way and pave over yet more of our natural heritage?

Corps to remove 84-yer-old fish-blocking dam in Va.

This tidbit from Virginia shows that the dam-removal movement continues spreading. The baby in this article is 84 years old.

Stay or go? Some towns choose relocation to fighting sea-level rise

The battle described in this California-focused article is much the same as faced by the Outer Banks of North Carolina (and other coastal communities). And yes, it almost always is cheaper and more sensitive to wild nature to simply give up and move to higher ground.

The EPA and stopping the Spruce (rape-the-Earth) mine

Good editorial here on the EPA’s recent decision to rescind the permit for a mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia that would have continued the criminal-like burying of natural streams with the mining rubble.

Chesapeake Bay’s Tangier Island among climate change’s victims

Rising sea levels, a result of the melting of polar ice and the Greenland ice cap by the human-caused warming of the atmosphere (climate change!), are swamping Tangier Island off Virginia’s mainland coast. Some folks, this article notes, see engineering and high-tech stuff as the solution, forgetting that nature bats last in this human-caused debacle. Yes, a way of life and a rich marine culture are at risk, but it does no good to blame anybody other than ourselves.

Debate about Missouri River spending roils

A proposed boost in spending for environmental projects along the Missouri River is angering farmers who claim last year’s flooding is evidence that the spending focus needs to shift to flood protection. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disputes the idea that flood protection is taking a backseat to the environment.This article from the Billings, Mont., paper has the arguments.