The News Star, Monroe, La., on flood protection and cleaner water
The News Star, Monroe, La., on flood protection and cleaner water:
Mollicy Bayou, which hasn’t flowed for more than 40 years, is full again as part of the largest flood plain reconnection project in North America.
Scientists for The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana have completed the excavation of the bayou’s original 2½-mile path on Mollicy Farms, a 20,000-acre tract in northwestern Morehouse Parish that had been surrounded by a 30-foot levee and cleared for farmland in the 1960s. This is believed to be the largest flood plain reconnection project in the Mississippi River Basin and the largest in the United States.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bought the tract in the 1990s and partnered with The Nature Conservancy to restore the land to its natural state, including replanting native hardwoods, breaching the levee and restoring the interior drainage system ...
Before the land was cut off from the Ouachita for agriculture, it was a natural flood plain.
The benefits of restoring this land to its original use help both humans and animals. ...
We know from 2009 that allowing water to flow into Mollicy adds flood protection downriver. High water dropped immediately in the Twin Cities as the levee was breached.
Already, the conservators are monitoring what’s happening. Soon, they will have completed three years of study to determine if this project is having the impact scientists believe it will have, and they have noted improvements in wildlife, especially birds, as the project has gone through its initial phases ...
Should Mollicy be a long-term success, other locales across the country may benefit from reclaiming land and restoring it to its natural state.