USA: Corps Unveils Plan for Benedictine Bottoms Restoration
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District has issued a public notice announcing plans to restore shallow water habitat on the Missouri River just north of Atchison, Kan.
The proposed project, which would involve the construction of two side chutes, would be constructed on the Corps’ Benedictine Bottoms Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Site, known commonly as Benedictine Bottoms.
The project would assist the Corps in meeting habitat goals for the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project and metrics of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2003 Amendment to the 2000 Biological Opinion on the Operation of the Missouri River Main Stem Reservoir System, Operation and Maintenance of the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project, and Operation of the Kansas River Reservoir System
The Corps estimates that in Kansas alone, as a result of the BSNP, 9,100 acres of aquatic habitat and 2,000 acres of terrestrial habitat had been lost in the natural channel between 1912 and 2003. An additional 44,000 acres of terrestrial habitat was lost within the meander belt. This loss of habitat has led to serious declines in native fish and wildlife populations.
Benedictine Bottoms is located on the right descending bank of the Missouri River, between river miles 424 and 428, just northeast of the town of Atchison, Kan. When fully developed, the project would restore 65 acres of shallow water habitat and the dynamic river processes which maintain it for the benefit of native fish and wildlife species, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. The proposed project would mitigate a portion of the diverse aquatic habitat that was lost as the result of the construction of the Corps’ Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project by restoring SWH through construction of two side channel chutes, bench cuts and tiebacks. The project has been developed to maintain the existing congressionally authorized project purposes of the Missouri River.
“Benedictine Bottoms was the first major acquisition for the Mitigation Project,” said David Hoover, a biologist with the Corps. “The Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism has completed the terrestrial habitat restoration on the site and conducts day-to-day operation and maintenance of these resources. It is one of our most popular sites for recreational visitors who enjoy hunting and wildlife viewing.”
Press Release, May 8, 2013