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ROCK ISLAND DISTRICT

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Fox Island Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

Rock Island District

Pool 20, Upper Mississippi River Mile 353.6 - 358.5 Clark County, Missouri

Partners

  • USFWS
  • MDC

Description

The Fox Island project area is located along the right descending bank of the Upper Mississippi River immediately downstream of Alexandria in the southeast corner of Clark County, Missouri.  The Fox Island Division (Division) lands are owned in fee title and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Great River National Wildlife Refuge.  The Division is comprised of 2,033 acres of land and water within the Mississippi River floodplain.  Currently, about 925 acres are floodplain forest, 120 acres are wetlands, backwaters and sloughs, and the remaining 988 acres are a combination of farmland and abandoned fields. Fox Island is former agricultural land that was purchased following the 1993 flood to increase river connectivity and wildlife habitat in the floodplain. Hundreds of acres of higher-elevation former cropland are suitable for planting hard mast trees and native grassland species. Lack of ability to control water levels limits the quality of wetland wildlife habitat on the Division.

The extent and quality of forests, wetlands, and grasslands along the Mississippi River has been steadily declining over the years.  The proposed project area has historically provided substantial benefits to waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.  Sedimentation has reduced wetland depths to the point where they are dry most of the year.   This project would allow full development and management potential of the Fox Island Division. The mosaic of a large tract of bottomland forest, enhanced wetlands, and restored grasslands would provide significant habitat benefits to a wide variety of important wildlife species.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 2033
  • Congressional District: MO - 6
  • State(s) Covered: MO
  • Land Ownership: USFWS
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge

Features

  • Reduce forest fragmentation and increase bottomland hardwood diversity by allowing 640 acres to reforest naturally and planting 260 acres of mast trees in existing forested areas and cropfields.
  • Enhance 78 acres of wetlands by providing wells for water supply and water control structures for flooding existing wetlands.
  • The Construction Contract included:
    • Clearing and Grubbing
    • Channel Excavation
    • Construction of new stoplog structures
    • Construction of two new wells
    • Stone Protection
    • Cover crop seeding and tree plantings

Milestones

  • The Definite Project Report was completed in September 2006. 
  • The Fox Island Construction Contract (W912EK-10-0122) was awarded in September 2010.