Officials Discuss Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Huddled around a small conference table at the Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Annada, Mo., March 4, members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the public discussed a draft plan to improve the wetland ecosystem of the entire 3,750-acre refuge.

Benefits of the proposed plan include restoration of native wetland plants, improved floodplain connectivity, decreased habitat fragmentation, and improved water delivery and drainage achieved by degrading interior berms; constructing a levee setback, water control structures and a pump station; restoring historic river meanders and planting floodplain trees and other wetland plants.

“This is the first Upper Mississippi River Restoration habitat project proposing to construct a setback levee on the Mississippi River,” Dr. Kat McCain, St. Louis District ecologist, said. “This will help connect the Wildlife Refuge to the Mississippi River and allow fish and other aquatic species access into the refuge. It will increase the overall health of not only the refuge, but the entire Mississippi River system.

Once complete, the proposed project will mimic the historic seasonal flooding and drying cycles required to provide food and habitat resources to fish and wildlife.

Press Release, March 13, 2014

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