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Posted 5/3/2017

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Contact
Regional Program Manager
(309) 794-5428

Location
Pool 24, Upper Mississippi River Miles 278-281, Pike County

Description
The Delair Division (Division) of the Great River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a 1,730-acre complex of wetland, bottomland forest, and wet meadows located along the left descending bank of the Mississippi River between river miles 278 and 281. The entire Division lies within Pool 24, 5 miles west of Pleasant Hill, Illinois, in Pike County and is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
(USFWS).

When originally acquired, the area was almost entirely cropland. Much of the Division has been restored to native habitat types. Ten wetland units (about 450 acres total) are managed to re-create the historic water regime of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) and to promote growth of native wetland vegetation and invertebrates. These units receive heavy use by migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, marsh and wading birds, and other wetland-dependent wildlife.

Approximately 500 acres of the Division are floodplain forest. The forest includes stands of silver maple, cottonwood and ash as well as stands of diverse and high quality hard mast species. However, the forest is heavily fragmented by small crop fields. Thirty-five acres of warm season grasses were planted in the 1980s to protect identified archeological sites.

The Division is located within the Sny Levee and Drainage District and is protected from flooding by the mainstem levee, which would allow effective restoration of historic floodplain habitat types to occur. Due to the low elevation and proximity to the river, portions of the Division receive year-round seep water.

The Delair Division provides one of the few tracts of natural floodplain vegetation that exists within the 123,000 acres of agricultural lands that make up the Sny Island Levee District. Hundreds of acres of former agricultural lands have already been restored to wetland, forest, and grassland on Delair, but some resource issues remain.

The current forest acreage on the Division is interspersed with small crop fields and is heavily fragmented. Fragmented forests have reduced value for many species of nesting neotropical migrant songbirds.

Wetland management at the Division is still restricted by inadequate water control structures and water delivery systems. Also, timely management of wetlands that do not receive seep water is limited, but would be enhanced by the addition of two or three shallow groundwater wells.

Status
Feasibility study of the project has been initiated and the report is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Authority
CG - Construction General

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  $7,671,257 
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  N/A 
Estimated Total Project Cost  $7,671,257 
Allocations Prior to Current FY 2017 Cost  $2,300 
Current FY 2017 Allocation (received to date)  $137,000 
Current FY 2017 Total Capability  $250,000 


Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2017:
Funds are being used to initiated the Feasibility Study.