Restoring Ups and Downs on the Mississippi
(pg 8 of 11)
The drawdowns have shown promise. Plants such as
arrowhead, rice cutgrass, nutgrass, bulrush, and
cattail sprouted from the exposed seedbed. The lush
new growth has not only provided food for waterfowl
and other wildlife; it has also begun to anchor the
fine sediment that caused the backwater to become
so turbid on windy days.
The drawdown had little effect on barge traffic.
The Corps dredged the main channel a little the
first year, but didn't need to the second year. The
Corps also dredged some channels to marinas and
The Corps and natural resource agencies of
states along the river will study the recovery of
the pool during several years of higher water
levels. Meanwhile, they will consider drawdowns to
restore other pools on the river.
"Restoration of these ecosystems seems so
possible," said Davis. "The response can be
dramatic and very rapid once the obstacles to
restoration are removed."