Kansas City District News Stories

Category: Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • February

    Sunken treasure: Fish Attractor Program at Pomme de Terre Lake benefits environment and recreators alike

    On an unseasonably warm day in February, the sun was shining and hardly a cloud could be found in the sky. Staff at Pomme de Terre Lake, along with staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation, were hard at work. The task? Sinking piles of cedar trees into the lake to create fish habitat. Attracting anglers from across the state and region, Pomme de Terre Lake’s partnership with MDC is vital to maintaining a healthy fish population. For the last 32 years, the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and MDC have been working together to provide habitats for fish at Pomme de Terre Lake through its Fish Attractor Program.
  • Innovative project receives 2023 Department of the Air Force Design Award

    When you hear the word ‘merit’, you probably think of a great achievement or outstanding accomplishment. Both of those things could be used to describe the work of the Whiteman Air Force Base Resident Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District on the Consolidated Operations Building at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The civil engineering team at Whiteman has done great work on this building, and their effort was recognized. The Combined Operations Building was selected as the recipient of a Merit Award for the 2023 Department of the Air Force Design Awards at the 14th annual Design and Construction Partnering Symposium, sponsored by the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.
  • First meeting of task force set to address issues in the Kansas River Basin

    This month, a dedicated group of professionals took an important step for the health of Kansas water resources. On Jan. 18, 2024, the Kansas Reservoir Sedimentation Task Force, made up of representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City and Tulsa districts, the Kansas governor’s office and the Kansas Water Office met for the first time as a formal working group in Topeka, Kansas. The group was assembled to collaborate on a solution for a major challenge facing the Kansas River Basin — sedimentation in reservoirs across the basin.
  • January

    Missouri River navigation restoration efforts hit major milestone despite challenges

    2024 will mark five years since the historic flood of 2019 in Kansas City and the surrounding region. Water levels on the Missouri River reached heights not seen for decades and caused an estimated $2.9 billion in damages across the Midwest. While the historic flooding impacted many in the area in ways they will likely not soon forget, it might be hard to believe that just a couple of years after the historic flooding, the region entered a period of historic drought. With water levels now at historic lows, repairing the river’s navigation channel to its pre-flood condition has not been an easy feat.
  • Safety first: Northwestern Division’s occupational health nurse hopes to prioritize health and safety across the division

    Active construction sites can be dangerous places. Full of heavy mechanical equipment and other hazards, the risk posed to the workers at these sites is often high. But there are other, less obvious workplace dangers that even those who spend their days behind a desk can face, like stress, high blood pressure and lack of support or fulfillment. Those charged with preventing and mitigating these workplace dangers play an important role in the success of an organization but are often in the background, working behind the scenes. Occupational health professionals and other safety specialists are the frontline for workplace safety. Yet their services can remain elusive to the very employees they serve.
  • December

    District Officer Introductory Course offers unique learning experience for junior officers

    One common misconception about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is that most people who work for the agency are in the military. In fact, of the roughly 37,000 people who work for USACE, only about 800 are active-duty military, with the vast majority being civilians. Because there are so few uniformed USACE employees across the enterprise, an annual course was developed to bring them together to learn about the organization from a military perspective. The District Officer Introductory Course is an annual course that is designed to bring junior officers from all over USACE together to learn, collaborate and network. This year’s course was hosted by the St. Louis District in St. Louis, from December 4 to 8. The Kansas City District and the Louisville District both supported the course.
  • Years of partnership and perseverance leads to historic osprey nesting

    Osprey, a bird of prey, is the only species of raptor that dives feet first into the water to catch its prey—mainly fish. It’s no surprise then that osprey typically nest in and around bodies of water like rivers, lakes and on the coasts of North America. In Kansas, it’s not uncommon to see these majestic birds as they pass through the Midwest as part of their migratory habits. However, osprey have not historically bred in this area of the country. Until now. In the summer of 2023, Perry Lake, located in northeast Kansas, recorded the first successful osprey nesting and fledging in the state of Kansas’ history. Much like other raptor species, osprey experienced declining populations during the 1950s to 1970s due to the prevalence of lead and harmful insecticides. And just like other raptor species, osprey populations have begun to make a come-back after being protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
  • November

    Jack of all trades—cartographer, archivist and pilot all in one

    When asked to describe his job, long-time Kansas City District employee John Atkinson has a humorous response. “Jack of all trades, I guess,” he says. Officially, Atkinson serves as the district’s archivist and a cartographer in the Survey and Geospatial Data section. However, Atkinson’s diverse background and skillset, as well as his openness to trying new things, have combined to turn his career into something he never imagined. From deployments to piloting a drone to working with century-old photography, Atkinson’s work with the Kansas City District has been full of surprises.
  • Mill Creek restoration an example of interagency collaboration and innovation

    At approximately 9:30 p.m. on the evening of December 7, 2022, a pressure drop in the Keystone Pipeline system was reported by TC Energy Corporation. Not long after the reported pressure drop, a rupture was detected, and 588,000 gallons of oil spilled into Mill Creek. Located just a few miles northeast of the city of Washington, Kansas, the oil spill in Mill Creek was the largest in the history of the Keystone Pipeline and the largest onshore oil spill since 2014. This is a story that highlights the quick action of local emergency management, the vital cooperation between federal, state, local and Tribal partners, and the use of innovative bioengineering techniques resulting in a comprehensive restoration project. This is a story that also demonstrates how partners working toward a shared goal can accomplish the seemingly impossible.
  • Wilson Lake park ranger provides extraordinary skillset

    Park rangers are valuable teammates of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, as they are at the front lines working at our lake projects to ensure the public can utilize and enjoy the projects year-round. One park ranger who has spent the last 22 years of dedicated service with the Kansas City District is Matt Beckman.