As our field reporting journey comes to an end, I cannot say that I am an expert in any specific area, but I can inform the public about the information I have received.
Today as the rain fell, we got our boots muddy at the Birds Point levee breach site with Major Jon Korneliussen, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to listen to his side of flood situation. We found the reason the Corps is only repairing the levee to 51 feet is due to the level of funding and timing.
When the bus stopped at the floodwall in Cairo, Ill., I could not believe my eyes to see this “ghost town.” I know small towns lose business over time, but Cairo felt empty and worn out.
Our final stop on the trip was at the Red Star Mississippi River Access in Cape Girardeau, Mo. We listened to Bob Hrabik and Dave Herzog, of the Missouri Department of Conservation, talk about the ecology of the Mississippi River. One invasive species issue is the Asian Carp because they are invading habitats from other native river species.
Overall, the trip broadened my perspective on different environmental and agricultural issues. Our group visited a sawmill, cotton farm and gin, forests, springs, small towns and the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers. We also explored different viewpoints to the Mississippi County flooding issues. Now that is quite the adventure.
-Jessica England, Edited by Lauren Schad