(YANKTON) – The havoc caused by the buildup of sediment behind Gavins Point Dam is detailed in a new book by Brooklyn-based author Tyler J. Kelley. Holding Back the River: The Struggle Against Nature on America’s Waterways tells the story of our attempts to bridle the country’s most powerful rivers through personal portraits of the men and women whose lives and livelihoods depend on these tenuously tamed streams.
Learn about this important topic during a free webinar with Tyler J. Kelley on Wednesday, July 14 at 2 p.m., hosted by the Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition. Kelley will talk with Jerry Oster, veteran news director at WNAX in Yankton. Kelley, who grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker among other publications. He spent four days visiting Yankton, Springfield, and Niobrara in 2018, getting to know the area and its people, including members of the Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition and the Santee Sioux Nation.
Holding Back the River not only explores the nation’s aging waterway infrastructure, including locks and dams, but also addresses the racial and economic injustices that have long been part of our government’s responses to economic and environmental disasters. The book considers our aging infrastructure–much of it built in the 1950s–and asks that we reimagine it, because while our climate and values have changed, our dams and levees have not.
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