Delta Farm Press
The Delta Council Meeting asks for support in the effort to build the pumps
At the 2020 virtual Delta Council Meeting on Nov. 12, the Delta Council asked pump supporters to submit positive comments to help the Yazoo Backwater Project move forward.
By Alaina Dismukes
The Delta Council is a huge proponent of the efforts toward the Yazoo Backwater Project to build the pumps in the Mississippi Delta.
At the 2020 virtual Delta Council Meeting on Nov. 12, Delta Council President, Paul Hollis, went over a few key Delta issues, namely the ongoing issue of backwater floods in the Mississippi Delta.
"As a farmer and a Mississippi Levee Board commissioner, I know how important the work of the Delta Council is to agriculture and flood protection," said Paul Hollis, during the 2020 meeting.
The Delta Council is active in improving several issues facing the Delta region such as infrastructure improvement, workforce development, and the agriculture economy, which remains in a perilous state. One of the more prominent issues the Delta Council has been engaged with is the completion of the Yazoo Backwater Project to build the pumps.
"Working with our friends at the Board of Mississippi Levee Commissioners, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, as well as federal, state, and private organizations, the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS) was recently released for public comment," he said. "This new plan shows what we have known all along. A pumping plant is the only way to evacuate waters from the south Delta in times of high flows on the Mississippi River."
The project, which began in the 1940s based on sound engineering, remains the only effective way to reduce economic damage, environmental harm, animal suffering, and lessen the impact to public infrastructures such as roads, national and state parks, and businesses in the south Delta.
"It is vitally important that everyone in the Delta, and those who love the Delta, make their voices heard in support of the Corp of Engineers' Draft SEIS," Hollis said. "We had another round of comments earlier in the spring, but it's even more critical that we remain steadfast in our support of this project by submitting a second round of comments for the Nov. 30 deadline.
"This project has received support from many friends of the Delta and positions of power in Jackson and Washington. I would like to personally thank our three representatives in the U.S. Congress for remaining vocal proponents of finishing the pumps. Congressman Bennie Thompson, Sen. Roger Wicker, and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith have not wavered in taking the necessary actions to ensure this process results in a positive outcome for people of the south Delta."
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith briefly discussed the importance of supporting the Yazoo Backwater Project by submitting positive comments.
"I am asking for your support once again," Hyde-Smith said. "The Corps is recommending moving forward with the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project and is accepting written comments from the public. We need you, your family, and friends to submit comments in support of the plan. The public comment process is critical to our continued progress.
"Individuals and organizations from outside of Mississippi are actively commenting in opposition to the new plan, and your comments matter. Regardless of who is running Washington, this project will go forward with enough public support. This is our chance to get it right. To submit a comment through your smartphone, text PUMPS to 50457. Every single comment we offer helps our cause. I'll keep doing my part to get us over the finish line, so we can finally get better flood protection in the south Delta."