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Component Number 1: 
The Levee Setback

The proposed One Lake Project consists of three infrastructure components. The levee setback is the least expensive and may provide the greatest level of flood risk reduction. It may also provide ecological benefits.

The levee setback is not the infrastructure component that creates a lake nor does it need a lake to function. You can oppose the One Lake Project and be in favor of effective flood risk mitigation by promoting a levee setback. 

What is a levee setback?

There are approximately 13.5 miles of levees along the Pearl River by Jackson.  A levee setback refers to the relocation of parts of this levee away from the river. The following map shows the current location of the levees and the proposed setback location. 

levee print.png

Image description

The map shows the proposed levee setback. The section of the levee that might be removed is shown with a dashed line. Its proposed replacement is shown with a highlighted green line.

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How does a levee setback reduce flood risks?

A levee setback "can reduce the potential flood peak in the area... by providing more space for the flood waters to spread out."

The term for how much water may move through a section of a stream is conveyance capacity. A levee setback can therefore increase convenance capacity.

A levee setback can improve system resiliency 

A levee setback may allow for the levee to be reconstructed on "better foundation materials." It also slows the speed of the river during floods, which reduces the danger to the levee and other infrastructure surrounding the river. These changes can improve system level resiliency and reduce the risk of failure" upstream and downstream from the setback location.

This improved resiliency lowers the dangers and costs associated with levee and other infrastructure failures.

Ecological benefits of the levee setback

A levee setback reconnects the river to portions of its floodplain. This reconnection can provide ecological benefits.

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Habitat restoration. Floodplains sustain animals and plants that need an environment which intermittently floods.  A levee setback can, therefore, provide wildlife habitat restoration.

Ecologically-friendly recreation. Floodplains can provide ecologically-friendly recreational benefits, such as ecotourism. The Cypress Swamp, 40 minutes north of Downtown Jackson, is an example of a popular floodplain destination.

The following images were taken at Cypress Swamp. 

Floodplains sustain - Source -

Habitat restoration - source

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The Levee Setback and the One Lake Project

The levee setback may offer the greatest level of flood risk reduction compared to the other components of the project. 

The United States Army Corp of Engineers reviewed the One Lake proposal and suggested that the "setback levee mostly likely will be the feature with the greatest risk reduction."

The levee setback is the least expensive component of the Pearl River Project. The costs are shown in the following table.

Table description

The table shows the approximate costs of the three components that make up the Pearl River Project. The data was taken from Appendix C, PDF page 222, Table 4.1.

Support a levee setback
Support flood risk management

A September 2022 article from Y'all Politics started with the following: "Even with recent flooding, special interest opposition to the One Lake Project remains." This characterization is false. Organizations such as the National Wildlife Federation oppose the One Lake and are promote the use of levee setbacks to "enhance public safety" and create opportunities for environmental improvements. 

This website, itself, is dedicated to opposing the One Lake Project and promoting effective flood risk mitigation.

cypress swamp pano 2.HEIC

This page and the linked articles were written by Juan David Fernández and edited by Lucy Kaplan, a teacher and Jackson resident.

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