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Atchafalaya Basin Louisiana: Management, sedimentation and water quality

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Project log

Michael Waldon
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Discharge of water from the Mississippi River to the Atchafalaya River at the Old River diversion structures is, by law, regulated to maintain a constant ratio of 70/30 for the discharge of the Lower Mississippi River to the discharge of the Atchafalaya River at a latitude downstream of the control structures. We propose to increase the discharge to the Atchafalaya River during intermediate flow conditions. No change in discharge is proposed under high-flow or low-flow conditions. This modification from the current control strategy will divert a long term average additional flow of 48,000 cfs. This represents a 20% increase in Atchafalaya River discharge and a 29% increase in diversion discharge over present conditions. This additional diversion will have little or no economic or environmental cost, and will provide added freshwater and accelerated accretion of coastal lands. Additionally, the added flow and stage within the Atchafalaya Basin will contribute to the quality of the fishery and to the goal of maintaining a "wet and wild" Atchafalaya Basin. Suggested citation: Waldon, M.G., and C.F. Bryan (1995) “A New Hydrological Regime for the Atchafalaya River to Enhance Fisheries and Coastal Accretion.” Technical Report prepared for the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit National Biological Service, Baton Rouge, LA.
PROPOSAL: To increase the discharge to the Atchafalaya River during intermediate flow conditions No change in discharge is proposed under high-flow or low-flow conditions This modification from the current control strategy will divert a long term average additional flow of 48,000 cfs This represents a 20% increase in Atchafalaya River discharge and a 29% increase in diversion discharge over present conditions. BENEFITS OF PROPOSED INTERMEDIATE AUGMENTATION STRATEGY: Additional coastal land protection and accretion Increase basin .commercial and recreational fisheries production Increase length of season for access to basin resources Help maintain a "wet and wild" Atchafalaya Basin * These are slides from meeting presentation. Also see manuscript titled "A New Hydrological Regime for the Atchafalaya River to Enhance Fisheries and Coastal Accretion."