This fall we started working on our ditches and infrastructure. We will continue this work through the summer. As this work progresses we will be able to focus our activities in units A and B.
Historically, when wetlands were developed the levees were built with the main purpose of keeping water in or out. However, as we have seen with the 1993 flood in the Midwest and more recently with Hurricane Katrina down in the Gulf, these protection levees will at some time and place fail. This can cause a lot of damage to the surrounding properties and is an expensive disaster to fix.
One of the valuable functions that wetlands provide, which is often undervalued until it is too late, is flood relief. Designing levees that can handle periodic overtopping or at least floodways (or strategic gaps in the levees) that are broad enough to give large flood events some room to spread out is important. Not only does this help surrounding landowners, but it also reduces the amount of time and money that is spent on levee repair and maintenance.
Lately, we’ve been working on our plans for units A and B. Not only are we examining how we can restore or enhance wetland habitat in these impoundments, but we are also looking to see where we can provide flood relief. We are looking to do this by resloping our levees in certain places and designing floodways to let water pass through Duck Creek at key locations during large flood events. This will help restore the historic hydrologic patterns during large flood events, provide flood relief to the surrounding land and minimize the amount of maintenance and repair needed along the drainage work through Duck Creek.
As work progresses the next two years, we will show you where and how we are putting these concepts on the ground.