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Follow us on: / Twitter / Facebook         November 15, 2011                                                                        
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River Conditions:

We recommend that novice boaters only float the Kaw between mid April and mid October when river is flowing at normal to low water levels - under 5,000 cfs.

The water levels on the Kaw are low but the water temperature is getting colder.  Only experienced paddlers with appropriate clothing and gear should paddle during colder months.  Always check water levels and weather before you float.

Float and Events:

November 15, Tuesday -
Free workshop by the Citizens Climate Lobby from
5:45 to 9pm at the Cedar Roe Library,  5120 Cedar St. Roeland Park, KS.  For more information contact

"What to Expect in the 2012 Legislative Session" presented by the Mainstream Coalition at 7pm at the Colonial Christian Church at 7039 Mission, Prairie Village, KS.
More Information

November 16, Wednesday -
Free workshop by the Citizens Climate Lobby from 6 to 9pm at the Delaware Street Commons, 1222 Delaware St., Lawrence, KS 66044.
For more information contact Lynate Pettengill (

November 17, Thursday - Friends of the Kaw Annual Dinner and Silent Auction. 6 to 9pm at the SpringHill Suites in Lawrence.  RSVP's must be made by  Nov. 11


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Friends of the Kaw is a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the Kansas (Kaw) River for present and future generations.

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Tell the U.S. Army Corps to deny the dredging permits!

Email your public comment by December 9, 2011.

Dredging destroys the river channel, causing erosion that threatens valuable farmland, bridges, roads, flood control measures, and wildlife habitat. It also stirs up sediments and pollutants that are expensive to remove from our drinking water.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now accepting public comment for five sand and gravel companies requesting permit renewals to dredge the Kaw. Four companies are requesting significant expansions, including re-opening previously dredged areas the Army Corps closed due to "unacceptable degradation."

The five permits cover a total of thirteen different dredging sites (ten existing, three new). Currently, these five companies are authorized to extract 2.2 million tons from the river. The permit renewals would increase that total by almost 50%, to 3.2 million tons.

Take action - now is the time to stop dredging on the Kaw!

Here's the information you need to write a comment. Email it by December 9, 2011, to Kale Horton at (and please also cc your comment to Remember to ask for a public hearing!

1) Sample public comment
2) Friends of the Kaw press release
3) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper - here's a sample
4) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notice of permits

Comments may be emailed to Kale Horton at (and please also cc your comment to Comments may also be mailed to:

Regulatory Project Manager, Kale Horton

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Kansas City Regulatory Office 635 Federal Building

601 East 12th Street

Kansas City, Missouri 64106-2896.

For questions, Kale Horton may also be reached at telephone 816-389-3656.

The cumulative, damaging effects of river dredging are not in the public interest. 

Damage to our drinking water.

  • Dredging stirs up sediments and industrial pollutants that are expensive for municipal treatment plants to remove from drinking water.
  • Over 600,000 Kansans get their drinking water from the Kaw – for example, one-third of Johnson County, and all of Topeka.
  • Three major municipal intakes draw water directly from the river and several more municipalities draw water from wells near the river.

Erosion of private property and taxpayer infrastructure.

  • Dredging causes erosion to valuable farmland and wildlife habitat.
  • Erosion also threatens taxpayer-funded infrastructure like flood control measures, bridges, and roads.
  • Cables for dredging rigs are hazardous to recreational boaters, and the river tourism that several communities have worked hard to promote.

Economic benefits to ending dredging.

  • There is no need for the destructive practice of river dredging - other sand companies are already pursuing the practical, economic, and reasonable alternative of sand pit mining.
  • Taking dredges off the Kaw will not increase the price of sand and gravel, and it will not have negative impacts on jobs or the economy.
  • Ending dredging will ultimately reduce the cost of drinking water treatment and reduce the costs of erosion to private and government property.

In January 2012, K-State researchers plan to release a major study on the Kaw River which will include extensive new information on the environmental impacts of dredging.
This new information will inherently call into question the concerns of the 1991 EIS and regulatory plan that the USACE uses to assess the Kaw – information that is more than two decades old.

Lynate Pettengill joins Friends of the Kaw Team

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We are pleased to announce that Lynate Pettengill will be helping Friends of the Kaw with various fundraising activities on a part-time basis. Lynate is a life-long, passionate environmentalist and has worked with not-for-profits in development for over fifteen years. She has also been tied to Lawrence and the Kaw River all her life as her grandparents were born and raised here. Lynate shared, “I have fond memories of walking along the banks of the Kaw after family dinners as a child. I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to work with Friends of the Kaw to protect this important riverway and all the creatures who rely upon these waters for food and shelter.”


Have you seen someone dumping waste into the Kansas River?
Do you think that drainage pipe looks a bit suspicious?
Call 1-866-RIV-KEEP, or email and we will help investigate!

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Friends of the Kaw, Inc.
P.O. Box 1612
Lawrence, Kansas 66044

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