The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation, celebrated the completion of the Ted Shanks Conservation Area Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project with a ribbon cutting Tuesday, Oct 23.
The project, as part of the Corps of Engineers' Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program, is comprised of constructed setback levees to reconnect portions of the conservation area with the natural floodplain, water control structures and drainage channels to manage interior water levels and improve site drainage, pumping facilities to rapidly bring water into and out of the site, and large areas of new tree plantings of native bottomland hardwoods. Rehabilitation of the approximately 2,900-acres was necessary due to degradation by the 1993 flood and long-term sedimentation.
"This project represents the true spirit of cooperation among Federal and State agencies, private organizations, and individuals," said Col. Bryan Sizemore, commander of the Corps' St. Louis District. "Our partners played a critical role in the development and successful completion of this project and without their dedication and support this project would not be what we see here today," he said.
Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Salt Rivers in Pike County, the site lies within the Clarence Cannon National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and is managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The Ted Shanks Conservation Area covers 6,700 acres and is made up of bottomland hardwood timber, open marsh, emergent wetlands, agricultural row crops, oxbow lakes, sloughs, open fields and upland woods.
Project design and construction costs are federally funded due to the project lands being managed as a national wildlife refuge.