Restoration of Aquatic Habitat
To date, we have:
- Restored flows to more than 100 miles of river side channels
- Planning to complete two side channel restoration projects in 2021
- Started a floodplain habitat enhancement project at Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area in Louisiana.
- Completed one lake restoration project
The Restoring America’s Greatest River initiative is our signature program. In the early 2000s, through the Mississippi River Conservation Initiative, we worked with stakeholders from the six lower Mississippi River states to identify more than 200 aquatic habitat restoration and river-access improvement projects.
The projects benefit protected species such as the Pallid Sturgeon, Interior Least Tern and Fat Pocketbook mussel. Dozens of other species benefit, too. More projects are planned with our partners, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Mississippi River Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others.
Reforestation of Frequently Flooded Land
- More than 22,000 acres enrolled or accepted for enrollment thus far.
In 2012, we began working with the nonprofit Mississippi River Trust to reforest frequently flooded cleared land within the Lower Mississippi River floodplain in six states. Willing landowners enter their land in conservation easements and receive financial and technical assistance with restoring the land to bottomland hardwood forest.
Reforestation of these “batture” lands will help:
- Lessen the amount of excess nutrients entering the river and the Gulf of Mexico
- Reduce flooding of farmland
- Reduce federal crop insurance payments
- Increase opportunities for outdoor recreation
- Expand habitat for bears, migratory birds and other wildlife
Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, along with the Mississippi River Trust, the Walton Family Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, International Paper Company and others.
Asian Carp Management and Control
This initiative focuses on ways to control and manage non-native, invasive Asian carp (Silver Carp, Bighead Carp, Black Carp and Grass Carp) in the Lower Mississippi River Basin and its major tributaries and their watersheds, including the Arkansas River, Red River, White River, St. Francis River, Yazoo River, Obion River, Big Black River and Hatchie River.
The LMRCC and its state and federal partners prepared a Lower Mississippi River Basin Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework in 2019. That effort led to the first significant federal funding for Asian Carp management in the basin. As a result, a new biologist and a new program manager are being hired in 2021 to advance the project.
Funding is provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Comprehensive Natural Resources Study
The LMRCC is a primary partner in the Lower Mississippi River Resource Assessment, the region’s first comprehensive natural resources study in decades. The assessment covers information needs, habitat needs, recreation and access needs.
A report to Congress recommended a variety of projects to improve management of the Lower Mississippi River.
Partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts in Memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans, along with The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, Mississippi River Corridor-Tennessee, Wildlife Mississippi, Delta Wildlife and Quapaw Canoe Company.
With new funding this year, the Corps of Engineers expects to begin a three-year study to identify habitat restoration projects and other issues.
Online Fishing Guide
In 2012, we completed a guide to Fishing the Lower Mississippi River. The guide is free for download and is designed to show anglers how and where to fish on the lower river, and provide them information on safety, access, and regulations.
The guide will be updated and improved over time. We are committed to improving habitat for fish and wildlife, in addition to providing information on how to enjoy America’s Greatest River.
- Download the fishing guide (PDF, 7 MB)
Lower Mississippi River Economic Profile
The Lower Mississippi River and its associated natural resources support a diverse and productive regional economy, according to a new profile produced for the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee. In their research, economists sought to document the economic values derived from or associated with the Lower Mississippi River and its abundant water, extensive forests, rich soil, diverse fish and wildlife, and other resources. Learn more about the LMR Economic Profile.