A major focus of the multi-year study process was looking at impacts to the environment and threatened and endangered species. The Corps of Engineers and several other agencies and independent teams will review those findings prior to approving the project.
The project team thoroughly reviewed whether threatened or endangered species live in the project area, and if so, how to mitigate impacts from the project. It is believed that the Gulf Sturgeon does not migrate north to the study area due to impediments in the Pearl River south of the area. However, the project includes sturgeon migration monitoring, and potentially a fish passage around the weir if it is determined that the species is present in the project area.
The Ringed Sawback Turtle is present in the project area, but the channelized river and levees created by the Corps in the 1960s is not reflective of its natural habitat. The project design will include a designated turtle sanctuary and additional mitigation measures to support the turtle population.
Finally, there will be wetland impacts but the project budget includes funds to mitigate those impacts by restoring, improving, or conserving considerably more wetlands, as required by law.