The Green Island Project area is a 4,000-acre wetland complex that includes shallow lakes, emergent vegetation and managed moist soil areas, and braided channels surrounded by degrading riparian timber. The project boundaries lie within the Green Island Wildlife Management Area which is managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The existing forest is degrading at an alarming rate with numerous stressed and dying trees. The ox-bow lakes have lost much of their depth due to sedimentation and provide little fish refuge in the summer and winter. The pump system is old, inefficient and expensive to operate. The old drainage ditches are sediment filled to the point that a drawdown cannot be completed to regenerate high quality moist soil or emergent and aquatic vegetation. Elevated water tables on the Mississippi River proper are also adversely affecting floodplain forest composition and regeneration.
The goals are to maintain, enhance and restore quality habitat for all native and desirable plant, animal and fish species and maintain, enhance, restore and emulate a natural river process, structures and function for sustainable ecosystem. The objectives identified to these goals are (1) maintain and restore existing aquatic habitat complexes for fish and wildlife; (2) enhance and restore over-wintering habitat areas by increasing the number of acreage of centrarchid habitat; (3) enhance and restore the bottomland forest by increasing the acreage, age class, diversity, and species diversity; (4) restore and increase the coverage of aquatic vegetation for waterfowl habitat; (5) manage pooled water elevation to emulate more natural seasonal water elevation; and (6) reduce average wind fetch in open water areas.
Potential Project Features could include:
- A pump station for water level management
- Excavate channels to pump station
- Excavate channels for overwintering
- Water level control structures
- Island creation
- Implement Timber Stand Improvement techniques