LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER
AQUATIC RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
B. WATER QUALITY - Improve water quality in the Lower Mississippi River by implementing the Clean Water Act .
Objective B.1 Determine short- and long-term water quality trends in the Lower Mississippi River system.
Strategy B.1.1 Identify monitoring sites and areas of concern for water quality (e.g., pH, sediment concentration, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, heavy metals, pesticides).
Strategy B.1.2 Increase the number of water quality monitoring sites in under-represented river reaches and major tributaries.
Strategy B.1.3 Support development of uniform sampling/data collection strategies that identify critical baseline water quality parameters (pH, dissolved oxygen, suspended sediments, etc.) to be collected on a regional basis.
Strategy B.1.4 Identify state and federal agencies that have or are collecting water quality data in the Lower Mississippi River basin.
Strategy B.1.5 Work with state and federal agencies to review and summarize water quality data.
Strategy B.1.6 Integrate historical and present water quality data sets into GIS databases and analyze the changes that have occurred.
Objective B.2 Coordinate development of a Water Quality Master Plan.
Strategy B.2.1 Identify and catalog major sources of pollution and contaminants.
Strategy B.2.2 Develop and implement new procedures and support existing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce pollution and contaminant influx into the Lower Mississippi River watershed.
Strategy B.2.3 Assist state and federal agencies in reducing pollution influx into the watershed.
Strategy B.2.4 Support the Clean Water Act and other legislation that would reduce pollution and improve water quality.
Strategy B.2.5 Reduce contaminants in fish to acceptable levels (see Objective B.4).
Objective B.3 Improve water quality and reduce annual flood damage by restoring floodplain hydrology.
Strategy B.3.1 Determine water filtration capacities (e.g., location, areal extent relative to river stage) of existing floodplain habitats in the Lower Mississippi River system.
Strategy B.3.2 Increase the connectivity between the Lower Mississippi River and its floodplain (See Objective A.3).
Strategy B.3.3 Identify potential sites in the floodplain of the Lower Mississippi River system that could be restored as wetland and bottomland hardwood habitats.
Strategy B.3.4 Promote projects that would increase the area of naturally functioning floodplains.
Strategy B.3.5 Support projects and legislation that increase the connectively between floodplain and the Lower Mississippi River.
Objective B.4 Cooperate with State Department’s of Health to monitor and reduce contaminant levels in fish.
Strategy B.4.1 Encourage each state natural resource agency to periodically collect fish tissue samples for contaminant analysis in accordance with Department of Health guidelines.
Strategy B.4.2 Ensure that standardized fish contamination advisory levels for all chemical compounds of concern are used.
Strategy B.4.3 Survey Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee agencies and develop a detailed summary of fish species and causative agents involved in fish consumption advisories in the Lower Mississippi River system.
Strategy B.4.4 Cooperate with each state’s Department of Health to issue fish consumption or other river-related health advisories.
Strategy B.4.5 Cooperate with state Departments of Health to issue news releases of contamination levels in fish and fish consumption or other river-related health advisories.
Objective B.5 Develop a spill contingency plan for the Lower Mississippi River system.
Strategy B.5.1 Determine the agencies and procedures currently involved in spill contingency planning in Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee member states, and work cooperatively with them to develop a coordinated plan for the Lower Mississippi River system.
Strategy B.5.2 Develop an “early-warning system” for the Lower Mississippi River system based on time-in-travel studies that will determine the time required for contaminants to pass through the Lower Mississippi River system, as well as dilution, elution and dissipation rates as contaminants pass downstream.
Objective B.6 Work with the Corps of Engineers to improve water quality in the Lower Mississippi River system.
Strategy B.6.1 Identify and quantify contaminated sediments in frequently dredged reaches of the main channel.
Strategy B.6.2 In areas where contaminated sediments exist, determine amounts of contaminants that will be resuspended in the water column due to dredging activities.
Strategy B.6.3 Determine potential impacts of resuspended contaminants on aquatic biota.
Strategy B.6.4 Implement channel maintenance measures that reduce dredging activities and resuspension of contaminated sediments.
Strategy B.6.5 Implement wetland habitat construction/restoration projects using dredged material, rather than reintroducing contaminated dredged material into the main channel.
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