The Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee has identified eight sections, or reaches, of the lower river, each about 40 miles long, where it will focus its conservation efforts. These sections, called Conservation Reaches, were chosen because they provide valuable habitat for fish and wildlife; they each contain a channel crossing; the batture is wide in the reach; and there is a concentration of previously identified potential projects. The LMRCC has identified more than 100 potential restoration and access-improvement projects in the eight reaches. Congress has authorized federal feasibility studies of the reaches to identify potential habitat restoration projects.
The first feasibility study focuses on Conservation Reach No. 2, which extends from the mouth of the Hatchie River downstream to the mouth of Wolf River Harbor at Memphis. It includes portions of Arkansas and Tennessee. This study is an important step in developing a comprehensive, integrated ecosystem restoration and management program on the Lower Mississippi River. The study will examine restoring ecological structure and function to diminished aquatic and terrestrial habitats such as floodplain forests, wetlands, and side channels to benefit fish and wildlife, water and air quality, local and regional economies, and stakeholders.