State and federal agencies will celebrate their efforts to balance the needs of wildlife and navigation. Thursday morning, the Corps of Engineers hosted a ribbon cutting for the Lake Odessa Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project, which is located in the Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge near Wapello, Iowa.
In 1986, Congress enacted the environmental restoration and improvement program, at the same time it approved navigation improvements.
Marvin Hubbell manages the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program for the corps. He's thrilled to be part of the $23 million project that has restored more than 6,500 acres of habitat.
Dozens of separate projects at Lake Odessa include levee repairs, new spillways, hardwood tree plantings, and helping fish survive the winter.
The overall purpose is to provide migrating birds with more high protein food. Hubbell says egrets, geese, herons, pelicans, and other waterfowl need insects and their eggs as fuel to complete their migration.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Iowa DNR use all the improvements to manage this part of the wildlife refuge.