Understanding the Upper Mississippi River ecosystem in order to identify and construct habitat restoration projects critical to the health and resilience of the ecosystem is the focus of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program. Scientific endeavors provide critical insights and understanding regarding a range of key ecological questions through a combination of monitoring, additional research, and modeling in order to inform and improve management and restoration of the Upper Mississippi River ecosystem. These scientific activities are grouped into the following strategies:
Strategy 1: Conduct focused research and analyses to gain critical, management-relevant information about the Upper Mississippi River’s process, function, structure, and composition as well as the dynamics and interactions among system components.
Strategy 2: Conduct research projects that improve our understanding of critical ecological conditions and processes by examining the effects of select habitat restoration projects on those conditions and processes.
Strategy 3: Utilize other information, as needed, to augment UMRR’s long term data sets for comprehensive analyses of the river’s health and resilience.
Strategy 4: Develop and improve ecological models and other decision support tools to enhance science capabilities and understandings, and improve understanding of the potential effects of future management actions.
Strategy 5: Effectively communicate to habitat project planners and managers regarding how research findings may be applied to habitat projects.
For each federal fiscal year (FY), the high priority science needs to support UMRR’s habitat restoration element are identified. These needs are captured in the UMRR Science in Support of Restoration and Management Scope of Work documents. Progress towards meeting these projects is captured using quarterly milestone updates.