Missouri River Recovery—Chute Construction Monitoring

Science Center Objects

We are providing monitoring assistance related to the construction of off-channel aquatic habitat (such as chutes) along the Missouri River. This construction is currently done using a hydraulic dredge to excavate floodplain material. The dredge slurry is discharged into the main channel of the Missouri River. The potential impacts on nutrient and sediment levels in the river from this practice have created some concern from bordering states charged with reducing nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico. Our primary objective is to assess the downstream impact of hydraulic dredging discharge to the Missouri River.

The USGS Nebraska Water Science Center is providing monitoring assistance related to the construction of off-channel aquatic habitat (such as chutes) along the Missouri River. Our primary objective is to assess the downstream impact of hydraulic dredging discharge to the Missouri River.

Off-channel aquatic habitat construction along the Missouri River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is constructing off-channel aquatic habitat (such as chutes) along the Missouri River. This construction is currently done using a hydraulic dredge to excavate floodplain material. The dredge slurry is discharged into the main channel of the Missouri River. The potential impacts on nutrient and sediment levels in the river from this practice have created some concern from bordering states charged with reducing nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico. 

We provided monitoring assistance to USACE by collecting samples at 4 sites along the Missouri River. Analysis of these samples will assist with assessing the impact of Missouri River hydraulic dredging discharge to:

  1. the concentration and load of suspended sediment and nutrients;
  2. the concentration and load of sediment and nutrients in the bedload; and
  3. the deposition of sediment and nutrients within the channel.

Results from this study are being synthesized and will be released as a journal article.