Winfield, Mo.: Who Owns The River?

The corps wants to speed up traffic. One man says, Not so fast

Nature loves the rhythm of a meandering river, with the summertime droughts and spring floods that nurture wildlife and push a waterway down a new path. Commercial barges, however, demand constancy, in the form of a canal filled with enough water to keep their 9-ft.-deep hulls from running aground. So after the great 1927 flood, the Army Corps of Engineers began shackling the unruly current. The corps built levees along the river's banks to hold in the water and turned its rapids and ever changing sandbars into a more civilized staircase of 29 locks and dams stretching nearly 700 miles from...

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