Pearl River: A Development and Flood Control Saga | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Pearl River: A Development and Flood Control Saga

An archive of award-winning coverage of attempts to improve flood control and bring economic-development at the same time.

Development

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson Says 'One Lake' Violates Federal Laws

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In a surprise move, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson and a coalition of businesses, public-interest organizations and citizens are speaking out against a draft plan to dam the Pearl River and create a lake development that backers saw will help control flooding in the Jackson area.

City & County

New Orleans Opponents of 'One Lake' Push Letter Campaign to Stop It

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The New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network, which formed a coalition in 1995 to "restore the natural resources of the Gulf Region," is pushing a letter-writing campaign against the proposed "One Lake" development and flood-control project along the Pearl River in Jackson

Cover

Vetting the ‘One Lake’ Project

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The Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District, often called the Levee Board, is supporting the "One Lake" plan, the latest version of a years-long strategy to create a lake development along the Pearl River through Jackson.

City & County

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: ‘One Lake’ Backers Have a Transparency Problem

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Proponents of the "One Lake" project on the Pearl River have a high bar to clear, and I don't think they're doing it yet. Their problem is simple: lack of transparency.

Development

Mississippi Reservoir Plans Generating Louisiana Concerns

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Louisiana officials are worried Mississippi's plans for a new reservoir on the Pearl River could harm Louisiana's ecology.

City & County

One Lake's 'Controlled Meeting' a 'Propaganda Machine' To Some Attendees

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The potential for outrage, raised voices and loud arguments at the One Lake Public Meeting was never recognized. But, One Lake project members were prepared for the possibility for pushback against their plan to create redevelop a section of the Pearl River through Jackson, while promising flood-control benefits.

City & County

OPINION: The Big Flood of the Pearl, Not If, but When

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So the big question is, “Will the ‘One Lake’ project be the salvation for Jackson in the event of a massive flood like the Easter Flood of 1979?” Not likely.

City & County

OPINION: A Pearl of Great Price: The Value of a Flowing Pearl River in Jackson

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For fish and turtle species in flowing river habitats, if something happens to their environment—like a dam turning a flowing river into a stagnant lake—they will likely be lost over time.

Development

Long-awaited 'One Lake' Proposal Should Go Public This Month

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The draft proposal of the "One Lake" plan to dredge out parts of the Pearl River adjacent to the Jackson-metro area should go public this month.

Development

EDITORIAL: Citizens, Be Informed and Vigilant About ‘One Lake’ Project

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If you haven't paid attention to the proposed flood-control/development project called "One Lake" along the Pearl River, now is the time to help vet the ambitious plan.

Development

Coalition Forms Against ‘One Lake’ Proposal

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Several wildlife and environmental groups came together to form a coalition against the proposed "One Lake" flood-control/development project on the Pearl River a few weeks before the report detailing the proposal is published.

Development

EDITORIAL: Citizens, Be Informed and Vigilant About ‘One Lake’ Project

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If you haven't paid attention to the proposed flood-control/development project called "One Lake" along the Pearl River, now is the time to help vet the ambitious plan.

City & County

'One Lake' Project Could Go to Public for Comment Next Month

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Engineers are pumping water at both Pearl River stations after a weekend of storms. The river reached a crest of 21 feet this weekend but is projected to drop down to lower levels later this week.

City & County

'One Lake' Bond Bill Passes House By Slim Margin After Questions

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Proponents of the "One Lake" project along the Pearl River through Jackson got a financial boost when the Mississippi House of Representatives passed a nearly $100-million bond and loan measure by a three-vote margin on Thursday.

Development

One Lake Project One Step Closer to Public Input

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The 2007 map of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District includes just a sliver of Jackson, predominantly along the Pearl as well as a piece of downtown, including the Mississippi Coliseum.

Development

OPINION: 'One Lake’ A Triumph of Cronyism?

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Flood-control alternatives, including the "One Lake" project for the Pearl River, have been out of the spotlight and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' technical review for nearly four years since scoping meetings in fall 2013.

Development

Where the Pearl River Flows

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Environmental groups and downstream communities in Louisiana and Mississippi are keeping a sharp eye on any proposed levee or lake project in Jackson, such as the current "One Lake" strategy, due to potential impacts of damming water further south.

Development

Much Ado About Flooding: How 'One Lake' Could Change the Pearl River

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People like to settle near rivers due to their need for water, good soil and potential food sources a river can provide, not to mention recreation. Still, it is important to remember that flooding is a natural part of a life of a river, Ben Emanuel of the American Rivers Association says.

Development

‘One Lake’ Can’t Outsmart Nature

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A new Pearl River dam and lake raise huge concerns for the short and long term: lots of lights and lots of traffic; new flooding downstream in Mississippi and Louisiana; and negative impacts to industry, wildlife, air and water quality, Gulf fisheries, recreation and public health.

Development

‘One Lake’ Tax Sails Forward

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Previous plans to dramatically remake the portion of the Pearl River that flows through the Jackson metropolitan area ran aground, but legislation is sailing toward the governor's desk that would pay for the project by taxing selected property in the new "One Lake" footprint.

City & County

‘One Lake’ Supporters Banking on Federal Bill

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The "One Lake" flood-control/development project will move forward under a new U.S. president and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, members of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District say.

City & County

'One Lake’ Plan Moving Forward

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Finding a way to prevent the kind of flooding that left downtown Jackson underwater in the Great Easter Flood of 1979—while still getting the most use out of the river with development and recreational use—is the stated goal of the Pearl River Vision Foundation.

Environment

Conservationists: 'One Lake' Endangers Pearl River

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A conservation group has declared the Pearl River one of the Top 10 Endangered Rivers for 2015 because a dam project proposed south of Jackson might threaten areas of the river downstream.

City & County

‘One Lake’ Draws Mixed Reax

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After years of planning, debate and revision, public sentiment about a plan to dam part of the Pearl River and create a lake that is designed to reduce flooding in Jackson and draw real-estate investments still appears to be muddled.

State

McGowan: 'Everybody's Together' on One Lake

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Since scrapping the highly controversial Two Lakes plan in favor of a more modest single-lake concept in 2011, Levee Board meetings have been relatively tame.

Development

One Lake a ‘Game Changer'?

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Turtles like the proposed "One Lake" flood-control plan. Now developers just have to convince the U.S. Corps of Engineers and Jackson area residents who'll be affected.

Development

Levee Board Talking Tax Hikes

The Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board may be gearing up for a district expansion to pay for a proposed flood-control plan for the Pearl River.

Pearl River

McGowan Confronts Board Over Levee Confusion

Jackson oilman and "Two Lakes" developer John McGowan went before the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board this morning, demanding clarity over whether the board's one-lake plan would include expanded levees.

Editorial

Stop Stalling Flood Control

It becomes more clear with every Levee Board meeting that the strategy of hard-core Two Lakes development supporters is to stall any alternative plan that could render their plan moot—even though the local levee board has voted to pursue other options. That strategy is severely flawed.

Pearl River

State Again Tries to Take Over Levee Board

A member of the Two Lakes of Mississippi Foundation rattled the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board at its meeting this morning with another attempt by state officials to usurp the authority of the local Levee Board. Board attorney Trudy Allen told the board that Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has listed the Levee Board, which to date has operated independently of the state, as a state agency in Mississippi's 2010 Blue Book of state agencies.

Pearl River

Engineers Want Lower Lake Plan on Table

An engineer urged the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District Levee Board last week to press the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve a lake plan to coincide with a Corps-preferred levee expansion the board approved in December.

Cover

The Lakes Plan That Won't Recede

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Although both the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the local Levee Board have rejected the Two Lakes development/flood-control plan, its supporters are vowing not to give up.

Pearl River

Two Lakes Developer Long a 'Green' Foe

Northside Sun Publisher Wyatt Emmerich declared in a recent column that the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District should appoint Jackson oilman John McGowan to head the board's technical advisory committee. The committee will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to devise flood control for the section of the Pearl River between Hinds and Rankin counties—and is considering a controversial plan developed by McGowan himself.

Development

Jackson Lake Plans and Eminent Domain

Jackson Realtor Bob Ridgway is president of a 100-year-old exclusive hunting and fishing spot about a half mile from where County Line Road dead ends at Old Canton Road. Mule Jail Club has an eight-person membership that goes back to the 1880s, and a number of small cabins sit on pylons either within the water or on ground that is partially or totally submerged during a portion of the year. Biologists describe the territory as some of the most pristine wetland between Hinds and Rankin counties. Nevertheless, Mule Jail could lose a considerable portion of itself to lake water, just as it sacrificed a portion of itself to the making of the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Development

Pearl Wetlands Worth Saving?

The wetland area just east of Jackson has seen better times.

Development

The Changing Saga of ‘Two Lakes'

Last week John McGowan of McGowan Working Partners LLC visited us here at the JFP offices for a marathon lunch session to discuss his "Two Lakes" project.

Development

UPDATED: Two Lakes Supporters Helped Finance Defeat of Pearl Mayor

Fans of a controversial plan to develop the Pearl River had better luck installing a pro-"Two Lakes" mayor in the little town of Pearl than in the state's capital city this month.

Pearl River

BREAKING: 'Two Lakes' Developer McGowan Gave $6,000 to Secretive PAC

Two Lakes impresario John McGowan was the largest contributor to the controversial Better Jackson PAC that tried to defeat Harvey Johnson by using what the FBI calls "baseless" crime rankings in mailers.

Editorial

Kill Two Lakes, Enhance The River

A vote this week by the Rankin-Hinds Pearl Flood and Drainage Control District ("Levee Board") appeared to overturn its decision of last July to support a "Lower Lake" plan based, in part, on the Levee Board-sponsored charrette featuring noted architect and city planner Andres Duany and his company, DPZ. We feel that's unfortunate, and hope the Lower Lake plan, if viable and responsible, will still be considered in the future.