Calling on the Biden Administration to Protect Mississippi Flyway Wetlands

Wood Stork.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has launched a plan for Mississippi’s South Delta, which includes a massive, environmentally destructive agricultural drainage project known as the Yazoo Pumps. 

The effort comes less than 18 months after the Biden Administration stopped the Trump Administration’s unlawful Pumps plan—Audubon led the campaign that restored key federal safeguards for 200,000 acres of hemispherically-important Mississippi Flyway wetlands. 

"We are stunned that the Biden Administration would choose to advance a plan that abdicates its conservation, climate, and environmental justice commitments," said Jill Mastrototaro, Mississippi Policy Director for Audubon Delta.

Corps data shows the Pumps will not protect underserved communities from flooding; instead farm owners and agribusiness will get 80% of the project benefits.

Audubon has been a leading advocate for nature-based and nonstructural solutions that can deliver effective, environmentally sustainable flood relief to underserved backwater communities while protecting the area’s wetlands that support nearly 29 million migrating birds annually (Source: Analyses by the National Audubon Society, using data from eBird Status & Trends from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Partners in Flight Population Estimates Database from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies).

These common-sense flood approaches include FEMA hazard mitigation programs that employ targeted elevations for homes and roads, and USDA conservation programs that pay voluntary farmers for restoring their fields back to wetlands. Read more about our work here.