Preserving the Future of the Missouri River

The Midwest division strives to restore the environment of the Missouri River by overseeing the development of new habitats for three endangered species and by providing the materials for these projects.

Martin Marietta’s Midwest Division is a dedicated partner in helping to restore the environment of the Missouri River. In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized the need to replace lost habitat on the Missouri River for three endangered species – the piping plover, the least tern, and the pallid sturgeon. The Missouri River Recovery Program was created to oversee the development of new habitats for these species, including the building of a sandbar, a wetland, and other habitats on the river. The Midwest Division has provided, and continues to provide, materials for these projects.

Rip Rap Needed Following Devastating Flood

This need was compounded in 2011 when a record flood devastated much of the Missouri River and its shores, causing more than $2 billion in damages, and leading to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) declaring disaster conditions along the river.

The flood of 2011 wreaked havoc to habitats and rock structures on the river because of strong currents from late melting snow and record rainfall. More than ever, large quantities of rip rap were needed to rebuild the destroyed areas and continue the habitat recovery for the endangered species.

Enormous Demand for Environmental Recovery

The Midwest Division supplies rip rap to the Missouri River every day from April through October to meet the enormous demand and preserve the habitat. Due to the floods of 2011, the Omaha Division of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers put out for bid more than 750,000 tons of rip rap as compared to the average 50,000 to 100,000 tons per year before the flood.

This increase in supply is possible because of the convenience of the Midwest Division’s location, which allows the rip rap to be loaded directly onto barges in the river, as opposed to hauling the material in trucks. A barge can hold about 2,000 tons while a truck can hold only 25 tons, making the conveyor system not only more convenient, but cost effective.

Ongoing Efforts

Getting access to such a large quantity of rip rap is incredibly labor intensive. There can be more than 5 million tons of overburden that needs to be moved to gain access to 250,000 tons of rip rap. Because of this, the Midwest Division is one of the only suppliers in the area with enough quantity to meet the needs of this vital project.

Martin Marietta is proud to contribute to the ongoing environmental recovery efforts of the Missouri River.

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