Hybrid Meeting Scheduled March 6 To Discuss Planned Environmental Study On Lower Miss

The Memphis Engineer District and Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee (LMRCC) are seeking comment on a planned three-year study of portions of the Lower Mississippi between Mile 775 and Mile 736.

A hybrid in-person and virtual meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. March 6 at Ducks Unlimited Headquarters, 1 Waterfowl Way, Memphis, Tenn. The meeting will discuss the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Draft Environmental Assessment (DIFR-EA) of the Hatchie-Loosahatchie Mississippi River Ecosystem Restoration Study.

Immediately following the meeting, the Memphis district and LMRCC will host an open house from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Concluding the evening will be a presentation and comment period from 6:45 to 8 p.m.

For those unable to attend in person, the proceedings will be live-streamed at https://youtube.com/live/rQY6kgiCyP4?feature=share.

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The comment period on the study will extend to March 13. Comments will be accepted in person at the meeting, via YouTube, via email at LMMRA-Hatchie-Loosahatchie@usace.army.mil or by mail to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District, ATTN: CEMVN-PDC-UDC, 167 N. Main St., Room B-202, Memphis, TN 38103.

The Hatchie-Loosahatchie Mississippi River Ecosystem Restoration Study is planned to investigate loss of habitat complexity and suggest opportunities for ecosystem restoration in the study area while also maintaining existing missions of ensuring navigation and reducing flood risk. It will culminate with a Chief’s Report with recommendations that will be delivered to Congress.

Study Area

The study area is a 39-mile reach of the Mississippi River and the surrounding batture, beginning at the mouth of the Hatchie River, near Mile 775, and extending south to the mouth of the Wolf River Harbor, near Mile 736. The reach includes crossings, pools, side channels, bendways, gravel bars, sandbars and overbank area between the west levee and east bluff. In addition, there are three tributaries/river mouths in the reach, the Hatchie, Loosahatchie and Wolf rivers. Meeman Shelby State Park, Fort Pillow State Park, the Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge and J.M. Tulley Wildlife Management area border this reach.

The study will look at issues of reduced vegetative diversity and forested habitats; disconnected side channels, backwaters and oxbows; invasive species; and decreased diversity in the main channel. It seeks to do so as the Mississippi Flyway hosts the world’s largest bird migration, connecting the Arctic to South America. More than 300 species of migrating birds and approximately 70 percent of the nation’s migratory waterfowl use the flyway.

The DIFR-EA and additional study details are available online at https://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental-Stewardship/Hatchie-Loosahatchie-Mississippi-River-Ecosystem-Restoration-Study/.