Marsh Creation Impacts - Mississippi River Delta

by Suzanne R. Hawes, US Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Quality Section, New, Orleans, LA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Dredging and Dredged Material Disposal


Significant conversion of marsh to open water is occurring in the Mississippi River Delta. Evidence is presented that marsh is more valuable to fish and wildlife resources than open water; thus, creation of marsh with material dredged from the Mississippi River is justified. Biological impacts of such work were found to be minor. The 129 EPA Priority Pollutants were screened and only 9 were found to be of concern in the delta. Contaminants in sediments and plants from created marshes were studied, elutriate tests were conducted, and recent bioassays were reviewed. Results indicated some contaminant uptake in biota; however, the benefits of creating new marsh far outweigh the disadvantages of possible introduction of small amounts of toxic substances into the food chain.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Water resources | Dredged materials | Biological processes | Fish management | Wildlife | Environmental Protection Agency | Dredging | Mississippi River

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