Senator Johnson calls for Missouri River monitoring

Senator Johnson calls for Missouri River monitoring In order to investigate and examine how the multiple uses of the Missouri River are impacting water quality and the sustainability of fish and wildlife, U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) introduced the Missouri River Monitoring Act of 2003 on March 5.

"The Missouri River faces challenges on several fronts: the manipulation of its water levels by the Corps of Engineers, the continued development of river shoreline, and the invasion of non-native fish and plants," Johnson said. "The Missouri River Monitoring Act of 2003 would create a river monitoring program.

"My bill authorizes the establishment of a federal research program through the Biological Resources Division of the USGS, the Department of Interior's research engine," Johnson said. "A long-term monitoring program will ensure that future decisions over the Missouri River are based on sound science and not politics.

"During the spring of 2002, water releases from South Dakota reservoirs damaged the spring fish spawn and the ecology of the Missouri River. South Dakota is suffering ecologically and economically due to the mismanagement of the river," Johnson said. "With the Corps of Engineers poised to revise the Missouri River Master Water Control Manual, a monitoring program will establish a baseline for judging the impact of new water flows."

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