JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Pascagoula River is now considered one of America's most endangered rivers. It made the 2016 list by the national environmental group American Rivers because of the Lake George project proposal.
The project involves building a dam on two tributaries of the Pascagoula River, which would create 3,000 acres of lakes near the Jackson-George county line.
Project supporters say the twin lakes would help control the river's water levels and store water to provide relief in case of drought. But American Rivers reports the project would actually lose more water while damaging the river's ecosystem.
"Today's announcement by American Rivers is unjustified, unfair and is honestly environmental fear mongering. The Lake George Project does not 'endanger' or pose an 'urgent' threat to the Pascagoula River," said Larry McDonald, President of the George County Board of Supervisors.
McDonald said the main function of the Lake George Project is to provide enough water to the river during times of drought. He said the project would benefit the environment and endangered species along the river.
McDonald also slammed American Rivers for reportedly not reaching out to representatives from the Pat Harrison Waterway District asking county officials about the Lake George Drought Resiliency application.
"It is clear a deliberate misinformation campaign by local members of the Gulf Restoration Network and the Sierra Club were the major instigators behind this action," said McDonald.
The Army Corps of Engineers is requiring an environmental impact study before approving the $80 million project proposal by George County.
More details are expected to be released today about the report by American Rivers. WLOX News Now will keep you updated on any new information.