Outlet of the River des Peres, Revisited

I’m endlessly fascinated by one of the largest public works projects in St. Louis history, which is the “harnessing,” for lack of a better word, of the River des Peres. While today, we would consider it to be a horrible ecological disaster, I think it is important to realize at the time and place in St. Louis when it was done, there were incidences of horrible flooding and also wastewater problems that we do not face today. Several years ago, I saw a plan that would have converted the southern portion of the river back into wetlands, which was very cool, but it would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe some day.

Recently I went back and photographed the mouth of the River des Peres where it opens up south of Forest Park, where there is and once was industry. Due to the rain this summer the undergrowth was really bushy compared to the last time I went by. The factories would dump their waste straight into the channel in the past.

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