A Multifactor Ecosystem Assessment of Wetlands Created Using a Novel Dredged Material Placement Technique in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana: An Engineering With Nature Demonstration Project
ERDC Vicksburg United States
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A multifactor ecosystem assessment of dredged material supported wetlands was conducted within the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana. The assessment included evaluations of 1 geomorphic evolution, 2 ecosystem classification and distribution, 3 floral communities, 4 avian communities, 5 aquatic invertebrates, 6 soils and biogeochemical activity, and 7 hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes. Results indicate that the innovative use of dredged materials in a riverine environment supports wetland formation and expansion while providing habitat, hydrologic, and biogeochemical functions. The strategic placement of dredged materials in locations that mimic natural process promoted additional ecological benefits, especially regarding wading bird and infaunal habitat, thus adhering to Engineering With Nature EWN processes. The multifactor approach improved the wetland assessment, allowing for a comprehensive ecosystem-level analysis of a diverse array of ecosystem components and functions.
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control