The Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee (LMRCC) is proud to announce the completion of additional habitat rehabilitation projects conducted during the fall of 2015. Nine projects were completed rehabilitating 29.5 miles of secondary (or side) channels. These projects include the following sites and dikes fields: Keyes Point, Island 25, Montezuma Towhead and Bar, Prairie Point, Below Knowlton, Plum Point, Corona Bar/Poker Point, Below Richardson Landing and Below Walnut Bend. Since 2006, the LMRCC has completed 24 projects, improving habitat in over 82 miles of secondary channels.
A comprehensive dike program was initiated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s as an effort to reduce dredging costs and improve alignment of the navigation channel. There are nearly 800 dikes on the LMR. These stone structures are built to help self-scour the navigation channel, but often result in sediment deposition in the area between the dikes. In many areas, these dikes have cut off secondary channels from the main-stem of the lower Mississippi River. Additionally, areas that once contained flowing water have been converted to terrestrial habitat. These secondary channels are valuable areas for aquatic habitat. By notching these dikes, flow can be maintained in these secondary channels for much longer than without the notches.
The restoration work of the LMRCC was coined “Restoring America’s Greatest River”. It is based on a very unique partnership between the LMRCC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.