Mollicy Bayou and Ouachita River Reconnected Once Again
Conservancy and USFWS team up to restore floodplain for fish, ducks, and people
November 15, 2013
- Jennifer Browning - TNC, phone: (225) 338-1040, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tom MacKenzie - USFWS, phone: (404) 679-7291, email: email@example.com
Bastrop, La.,– On October 15, the last of approximately 50,000 cubic yards of soil was excavated on Mollicy Bayou, a stream course that had not flowed with water since the late 1960’s. As part of the larger Mollicy Farms restoration project, the completion of the 11 week effort to reconstruct the 2.5 mile bayou is a major component of reestablishing a functional floodplain. Mollicy Farms is part of the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been working on the various components of this multistage project since 2009.
“Reestablishing the stream flows and wetland habitats with the Mollicy Bayou effort is a major milestone for the Upper Ouachita NWR. We look forward to the public enjoying this resource into perpetuity whether they want to hunt, fish, or observe nature,” said Joe Saenz, Project Leader for the North Louisiana NWR Complex.
The next time the Ouachita River goes into flood stage, Mollicy Bayou will be a key conduit for moving river water onto the full extent of the floodplain. When the river goes back down, the bayou will function to slow the movement off the floodplain, thereby, reducing sedimentation and nutrient runoff into the river. The project has also reestablished connection to a former wetland complex called Bear Brake. This large-scale restoration will provide greater water retention and establish more habitat for waterfowl and other wetland species in this portion of the floodplain.
“Louisiana is one of the most important wintering areas for waterfowl in the nation. This is no longer a secret, especially in my hometown of Monroe,” said Conservancy State Director Keith Ouchley. “The Conservancy is proud to partner with like-minded local communities, corporations, and individuals to protect and restore this natural heritage and vital component of our culture.”
The project was made possible with financial support from the Coca Cola Corporation, Entergy Corporation, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, North American Wetlands Conservation Council and Scott Foundation.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect and restore ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.