Southeastern Fishes Council
Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes

Proposed West Pearl River Navigation Project
Whereas the Southeastern Fishes Council is dedicated to the preservation of southeastern fishes and the streams and other freshwater bodies that provide habitat for these species,

Whereas the lower Pearl River between Bogalusa, Louisiana and the Mississippi Sound is a natural and scenic river and several stretches of river in this general area are officially designated as such by the State of Louisiana,

Whereas the lower Pearl River is home to a unique fauna of eastern Gulf Slope fishes, comprising species such as the Atlantic sturgeon, Alabama shad, bluenose shiner, flagfin shiner, frecklebelly madtom, freckle darter, the soon to be described Pearl darter, and potentially distinct populations of the blue sucker, river redhorse and crystal darter, and whereas most of the above mentioned species are imperiled and either presently afforded or proposed for some form of protective status at the state or federal level,

Whereas the lower Pearl River is also home to a number of unique and imperiled species of freshwater mussels, amphibians, reptiles and other aquatic organisms,

Whereas dredging, gravel mining and other stream modification activities associated with navigation projects are known to have direct harmful effects on these kinds of aquatic organisms and recently have been suggested to have profound destabilizing effects on stream channel morphology (i.e., "head cutting") that could extend throughout the entire watershed, and whereas all of the above mentioned organisms likely have already been negatively impacted by past navigation-related disturbance of the lower Pearl River.

Therefore Be It Resolved that the Southeastern Fishes Council urges the Corps of Engineers, and other proponents of the project, to abandon plans to reopen the West Pearl River to navigation between Bogalusa, Louisiana and the Mississippi Sound.

Be It Further Resolved that copies of this resolution be sent to the Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2101 N. Frontage Rd., Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180-5191, the Honorable Robert L. Livingston, U.S. House of Representatives, Room 2388, Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515, and other appropriate government officials.