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Posted 5/4/2017

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Regional Program Manager
(309) 794-5428

Pool 18, Upper Mississippi River Miles 431- 428, Mercer County Illinois

The Keithsburg Division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a 1,400-acre backwater complex located along the left descending bank of the UMRS between river miles 428.0 and 431.0. The Keithsburg Division lies within Pool 18, immediately north of Keithsburg, Illinois.

Keithsburg Division is a mosaic of both wetlands and bottomland forest. A mature hard mast component still survives on the north end of the Division. The wetlands provide important backwater habitat for fish, migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, amphibians and other wetland species.

The bottomland forest supports a wide array of neotropical migrant birds, a large breeding population of wood ducks, and several declining bird species such as the red-headed woodpecker and the yellow-billed cuckoo.

During the 1993 flood, a large break occurred in the southern tie back levee adjacent to Pope Creek. The levee breach and existing spillway allows some connectivity, but appropriate inlet/outlet designs to reduce erosive forces during high flow conditions through the backwater and sloughs do not exist in the Division. Water level management capability is limited, and uncontrolled flood events result in heavy sediment accumulations. This sedimentation reduces the depth and quality of wetlands, inhibits wetland plant growth, and eliminates overwintering habitat for fish. Frequent inundation inhibits wetland plant growth and island forest regeneration, eliminates overwintering habitat for fish and inhibits and causes increased mortality of mature trees.

Adjacent agriculture fields have high levels of nitrogen and ammonia. When high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrate in the Division from this area, large blooms of nuisance aquatic plants such as blue-green algae and duckweed cover a large extent of the Division. The invertebrate community is also adversely affected by concentrated contaminants; studies indicate low invertebrate density and diversity with communities dominated by pollution-tolerant species. Contaminant-related reduction of the invertebrate food supply is a serious limiting factor for fish, amphibians, and birds which occupy the Division.

General design of the project has been initiated and a feasibility report is scheduled for completion in 2018.

CG - Construction General

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  $14,788,000 
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  N/A 
Estimated Total Project Cost  $14,788,000 
Allocations Prior to Current FY 2017 Cost  $1,046,000 
Current FY 2017 Allocation (received to date)  $558,000 
Current FY 2017 Total Capability  $650,000 

Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2017
: Funds are being used to continue development of the Feasibility Report.