USA: Corps to Hold Meeting on Benedictine Bottoms Project

Corps to Hold Meeting on Benedictine Bottoms Project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District will hold an open house public meeting for the Benedictine Bottoms Shallow Water Habitat Restoration Project Friday, May 17, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the U.S.D. 409 Atchison Public Schools – Community Meeting Room, 626 Commercial in Atchison, Kan.

Early last week the Corps issued a public notice and related study documents announcing plans to restore shallow water habitat on the Missouri River at the 2,111-acre site located just north of Atchison.

The proposed project, which involves 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. The project assists 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 BSNP 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.

[mappress]

Press Release, May 15, 2013

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