Target: Mayor Percy Bland of Meridian, Mississippi
Goal: Relocate fish and other animals that are dying because of the intentional draining of their native reservoir
The city of Meridian, Mississippi has slowly begun to drain the water from a heavily inhabited reservoir, killing thousands of fish and endangering many other species. City representatives insist this is a necessary measure due to the connected dam’s instability. However, a letter from Mississippi’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) only instructs the city to reinforce the dam, making no such request to drain the reservoir.
As the water levels gradually lower, fish and other aquatic animals have painfully begun dehydrating and dying via suffocation. According to Meridian resident and frequent fisherman Red Dowdy, “There are about 10 tons of fish in the lake, ranging from bass, bream, white perch, to catfish and gar.” In addition to the numerous fish affected by drainage, the protected bald eagle species–who rely on the fish population for sustenance–will also suffer a great loss due to the sudden scarcity of food.
Conservationists and local citizens are furious over the city’s brash decision. Long Creek Reservoir has been in existence for over 75 years, housing many animals and providing food to both birds and fisherman. Shockingly, Meridian officials have only breached the dam, having no money to actually repair its inherent structural defects. Since construction does not appear to be happening in the near future, these poor fish have been left to struggle in a dried up reservoir as city officials wait in vain for funding.
Sign the petition below and urge Meridian’s mayor to relocate the aquatic animals it has purposely endangered. Tell city officials that no animal lives need to be lost in order to secure the safety of human citizens.
Dear Mayor Bland,
The city of Meridian’s decision to drain the Long Creek Reservoir is killing thousands of fish and endangering many other species. While this has been done in response to the connected dam’s structural instability, city officials have indicated a lack of funding to even begin repairing the dam. Essentially, you have sentenced these fish to prolonged, agonizing deaths as you wait for financial backing.
Long Creek Reservoir has been a public mainstay and natural monument in Meridian for over 75 years. It is home to approximately 10 tons of fish and is crucial in sustaining the protected bald eagle species, who heavily rely on the fish population for nourishment. Meridian officials claim to be saddened by this event and assure they have heavily weighed their decision, yet somehow these poor animals have been neglected completely during all debates and discussion.
No efforts have been made to relocate the suffocating fish or address the endangered bald eagles. This is extremely unacceptable. While of a different species, these animals are still citizens of the city of Meridian, just as any person. For this reason, I urge you to relocate the aquatic animals to a nearby reservoir so they can continue thriving. Please remember that animal lives, however small, are still greatly affected by your decisions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Friend Milton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons