As anticipated by many, early floodplain restoration efforts at Emiquon Preserve along the Illinois River were successful by various measures: native wetland plant communities that had all but disappeared in the Illinois River Valley returned and flourished, record numbers of waterfowl used the restored wetland habitats during migrations, many rare and endangered species thrived, the site was argued to be the best bass fishery in Illinois and possibly the Midwest, numerous scientific publications documented research findings, the complex was designated the United States 32nd Wetland of International Importance under the RAMSAR Convention, and so many people visited for recreation and education that it generated some anxiety about their potential negative impacts. Early in the planning for restoration and management, several concerns and challenges for sustaining high-quality functional floodplain long term were identified, with some becoming increasingly evident in the last several years of the restoration. Concerns include invasive plant and animal species; sediment, pollutants and degraded water quality associated with river reconnection; and undesirable shifts in habitats. This panel discussion will engage symposium presenters and the audience to address several of these concerns, additional challenges, and potential solutions to restoring and managing Emiquon that could be applicable to other functional floodplain restorations to provide important ecosystem services for nature and people.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference 2020|
|State||Published - 2020|