GREATEST RIVER INITIATIVE
The Restoring America’s Greatest River Plan was approved in April 2015. The plan contains an introduction section and information on river modifications, habitats and land use, floodplains, species of concern, native fishes, climate adaptation, planning, accomplishments, and goals and actions. Appendix A contains an updated list of proposed habitat restoration projects.
The goal of the initiative is the implementation of identified aquatic habitat restoration and river-access improvement projects.
- View proposed restoration projects
Aquatic Habitat Restoration & River Access Improvements
- More than 30 aquatic habitat projects completed. See the latest map of completed projects.
- Water flow restored to more than 115 miles of secondary channels
- Conservation easements secured, reforestation ongoing on more than 32,000 acres in the active floodplain, or “batture,” in cooperation with the Mississippi River Trust and the Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Species benefitting: Pallid Sturgeon, Fat Pocketbook Mussel, Interior Least Tern, forest-dwelling birds, Black Bear, other mammals
- 5 new projects under way
Projects partners include:
- Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee state agency members
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division
- U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Mississippi River Trust
- The Nature Conservancy
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
How We Got Here
Aquatic Resources Management Plan
The LMRCC’s Aquatic Resources Management Plan (PDF, 152 KB), completed in 2000, outlines strategies for restoring aquatic resources within the 2.8 million-acre active floodplain from the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers at Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico. Goals include:
- Restoring aquatic habitat and biological resources
- Improving water quality
- Forming strategic partnerships
- Increasing public use of river habitats
- Promoting sustainable economic development
Between 2001 and 2004, the LMRCC conducted public meetings in six states to identify projects to improve aquatic habitat and enhance public access to river habitats. 239 projects were identified during the Mississippi River Conservation Initiative. Proposed project categories include:
- Restoring secondary channels
- Restoring floodplain hydrology
- Maintaining hydrological connections between the river and floodplain lakes
- Conserving gravel bars
- Improving boat ramps
Projects are being ranked according to how they will improve habitat quality and their cost-effectiveness, among other factors.