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    World Wetland Day joins together Wetlands and People

    Regulatory specialists tour wetlands and complete work project at the Yorkinut Slough.

    Photo By Janet Meredith | St. Louis District Regulatory personnel partnered with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife...... read more read more



    Story by Janet Meredith 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District - MVS

    Fueled by their commitment to protecting the nation's aquatic resources, several St. Louis District Regulatory Specialists teamed up with U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff from Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge to perform maintenance on a tree planting project at the Yorkinut Slough area in Brussels, Illinois during World Wetland Day held this year on February 2, 2024.

    The St. Louis District Regulatory Branch oversees activities in the nation’s waters, including streams and wetlands under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Waters Act and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 within its 28,000 square mile district. Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge included within the district consists of a mosaic of tranquil bottomland forests, grasslands, islands, backwaters, side channels, and wetlands.

    According to Refuge Manager, Charlie Deutsch, “Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge is managed through a cooperative agreement including three U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Districts: St. Paul, Rock Island, and St. Louis, but is located within close proximity to the St. Louis District Office”.

    Currently, the agencies are designing a restoration project to be implemented at a future date funded through the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project located within the Yorkinut Slough and Six Mile Island.

    Located between the Mississippi River and Illinois River encompassing 9,225 acres, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, considered an urban refuge, is managed to provide habitat for waterfowl and serves as an important link in the chain of resting, feeding, and wintering areas for migratory species using the Mississippi Flyway.

    An Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment, signed by Mississippi Valley Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Kimberly Peeples on March 2023, of the Yorkinut Slough area evaluated various alternatives that would restore wetlands and forest habitat currently declining due to altered hydrology.

    Wetlands are critical to people and nature, given their benefits and services while floodplain forests play a pivotal role in the river ecosystem – creating wildlife habitat, improving water quality, storing carbon and slowing flooding. The intrinsic value of these ecosystems, including their environmental, climate, ecological, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational, and aesthetics all contribute to sustainable development and human wellbeing.

    “Delivering nature-based solutions that protect, restore, and sustainably manage wetlands is very important and by working with our partners such as with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, we can ensure long term integrity of the areas we manage and reach the conditions we all desire”, said Katie Steinmetz, regulatory specialist/botanist, St. Louis District.

    Steinmetz, along with several other regulatory specialists worked to remove protective wire cages from around several oak and pecan species that have been growing for 15 years in the Yorkinut Slough area during World Wetland Day as part of a nationwide effort to enhance wetlands.

    World Wetlands Day focuses its 2024 theme “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing” with projects and messages highlighting how the physical, mental, and environmental aspects of human wellbeing are tied to the health of the world’s wetlands.


    Date Taken: 02.16.2024
    Date Posted: 02.16.2024 14:50
    Story ID: 464135

    Web Views: 57
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