One Lake comment period extendedBy ANTHONY WARREN,
The public comment period for the One Lake Project has been extended an additional 45 days.
The Rankin-Hinds Flood and Drainage Control District recently extended the period until September 6, 2018.
The move comes after an outcry from opponents who said they didn’t have enough time to review the recently released draft economic and environmental feasibility reports outlining the project.
Additionally, district officials have released the biological assessment data, which provides the most up-to-date data on the threatened and endangered species within the footprint of One Lake.
Species in the area include the ringed sawback turtle and the Gulf sturgeon.
The turtles are most common along the Pearl River in Mississippi and Louisiana, and prefer wide rivers with clay or sandy bottoms, according to animaldiversity.org.
Sturgeon travel upriver to spawn, but there have been no sightings of the fish in the proposed project area since 1984.
The assessment discusses potential mitigation measures to provide a reserve habitat for turtles, as well as a fish ladder along the I-20 weir and downstream to ensure sturgeon can travel upstream.
The project includes creating a 1,500-lake along the Pearl River between Hinds and Rankin counties.
It is designed to prevent flooding in Jackson and Rankin County in the event of a flood similar to the Easter Flood of 1979.
That flood inundated much of the Northside, downtown Jackson, Flowood and Richland. Today, a similar flood would cause more than a billion dollars in damage.
For more information log onto http://rankinhindsflooddistrict.ms.gov/report/