Adaptive Management for Atchafalaya Basin, LA Water Management Units

by Tonja L. Koob,
Nancy Powell,
Larry M. Hartzog,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Wetlands Engineering & River Restoration 2001


The Buffalo Cove Water Management Unit is a pilot unit in the Atchafalaya Basin that has been implemented as part of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System project. The pilot unit goals are designed to prolong the life expectancy of the productive habitat that will become scarce over time by restricting or redirecting sediments while simultaneously achieving a healthy water circulation pattern that will maintain and restore water quality. Because of the dynamic nature of this system, the traditional static structural approach lacked flexibility and could not easily accommodate timely and responsive changes. Instead, the adaptive management approach has been applied with passive rather than active water management techniques. Using passive water management, north to south water flow has been promoted within the unit through channel closures, openings and realignments; through modifying heights of natural or constructed levees; and through the creation or restoration of natural or constructed channels to improve internal circulation.

Subject Headings: Water management | Basins | Adaptive systems | Water circulation | Water quality | Water shortage | Aquatic habitats | Ecological restoration | Louisiana | United States

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