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Environmental inventory and assessment of navigation pools 24, 25, & 26, Upper Mississippi and Lower Illinois Rivers : summary report

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Solomon, R. Charles
Parsons, David R.
Wright, D. A. (David A.)
Colbert, Billy K.
Scott, Jerry E.
Ferris, Cathy

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 U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station


The River and Harbor Act of 3 July 1930 authorized the construction and maintenance of a 9-ft-deep by 300-ft-wide channel for commercial navigation of the Upper Mississippi and Lower Illinois Rivers. Construction of locks and dams supplemented by dredging and bank stabilization was required to maintain the 9-ft depth, particularly during periods of low flow. An investigation was performed by Colorado State University to evaluate the river reaches before and after man-made changes and overall changes in geomorphology. Additionally, trends of future geomorphic changes that could result from existing and potential future developments were addressed with the aid of a mathematical simulation model. Vegetation and vegetative successional patterns of the floodplain were characterized by the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Vegetation maps were produced delineating vegetational communities adjacent to the rivers and on islands. An inventory of the animals and their habitats was conducted by Southern Illinois University. Seven habitats were distinguished in the unprotected floodplain. Based on literature, 49 species of mammals, 286 species of birds, and 81 species and subspecies of amphibians and reptiles were expected to occur in the study area. Members of the Waterways Experiment Station study team collected water and sediment samples for chemical and physical analysis and biological samples from four habitat types. The data were subjected to various statistical analyses to determine if there were differences between habitats and sampling dates. Fish samples were collected from the Illinois River by the Illinois Natural History Survey and results compared with literature to determine temporal and spatial changes in distribution. The overall impacts of operation and maintenance of the 9-ft channel are discussed relative to the effects on the biological, chemical, and physical system in the study area. Recommendations are made for further studies that are needed to more adequately define impacts.


Technical Report


Environmental inventory, Illinois River, Locks (Waterways), Mathematical River, Navigation dams



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