Photograph by Joe Mac Hudspeth, Jr. · www.southernfocus.com
What We Do
During the summer of 2011 Delta Wildlife partnered with The Nature Conservancy, Entergy, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to design and implement a project that would restore wetland habitat and decrease agricultural runoff on a portion of the Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge (YNWR).
The YNWR encompasses 13,706 acres four miles east of the Mississippi River, near the town of Glen Allan. One of the primary habitat features is Swan Lake, a shallow 4000 acre oxbow lake dominated by bald cypress trees. Most of the lake does not receive runoff from surrounding croplands due to channels and levees but an 800 acre section known as the Anhinga Swamp still receives runoff from adjacent agricultural fields, resulting in sedimentation and eutrophication.
Specifically the goal of the project was to restore 450 acres of bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands that were previously agricultural lands. This will not only provide more wildlife habitat but also reduce nutrient and sediment loading into the nearby Anhinga Swamp. The swamp has seen significant water quality degradation over the decades. To accomplish these goals Delta Wildlife oversaw construction of an 8 acre shallow water ephemeral wetland that will serve as a natural sediment trap, 1.5 acre seasonal wetland (Winter Water), several low-grade weirs and bioreactors which will convert four nearby drainage channels into ephemerally inundated brakes. These practices along with the reforestation to be completed by The Nature Conservancy will provide long lasting habitat and critical water quality improvements to the refuge.