RESTORING LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER BOTTOMLAND HARDWOOD FORESTS



The purpose of the Lower Mississippi River Batture Reforestation Project is to achieve more sustainable land and water management in the active floodplain of the Lower Mississippi, thus providing significant ecological, economic and societal benefits.

The goals of this project are to:
1. Improve water quality in the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
2. Expand habitat for federally protected species, at-risk species or other wetland-dependent wildlife.
3. Support implementation of existing regional conservation initiatives.
4. Reduce soil erosion and increase carbon sequestration in the project area.
5. Reduce the erosion of vulnerable lands during floods and protect federal flood control and navigation infrastructure to benefit producers and taxpayers.
6. Reduce taxpayer-funded disaster payments and other payments on flood-prone land.
7. Provide additional outdoor recreation opportunities to expand and diversify local economies in one of the nation’s most impoverished regions.

PROJECT AREA

The project area is the active floodplain of the Lower Mississippi River from the river’s confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois (River Mile 954) downstream to the Port of Baton Rouge (River Mile 255). The active floodplain in this 699-mile reach comprises 2 million acres of land and water between the federal mainline levees or river bluffs. This area is commonly called the “batture.”

The project area includes portions of 35 counties and parishes bordering the Mississippi River in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the project area contained 377,000 acres of cropland in 2016.

PROJECT PARTNERS

The lead project partner is the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee, a nonprofit coalition of 12 natural resource conservation and environmental quality agencies representing the states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The organization provides the only permanent regional forum dedicated to conserving the natural resources within the lower river’s active floodplain. Bear Trust International is also a nongovernment partner. The government partner is the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Matching funding is provided by two private foundations, the Walton Family Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.






View and download project fact sheets for each Lower Mississippi River state below:

ARKANSASKENTUCKY

LOUISIANAMISSISSIPPI

MISSOURITENNESSEE