The Missouri River

The Missouri River drains one-sixth of the United States, encompassing over 529,350 square miles in all or portions of 10 states and Canada. The Missouri is the nations' longest river, flowing 2,341 miles through seven states from Three Forks, MT to join the Mississippi River near St. Louis, MO. Since the early 1800s, Congress has directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove snags, stabilize river banks, construct and maintain navigation channels, build flood risk management structures (levees and dams), and provide hydroelectric power and recreational opportunities on the Missouri River. These activities provide benefits valued at nearly $2 billion per year. Some the these development activities on the Missouri River have come at the expense of the river's native fish and wildlife. The Corps is working to lessen these environmental impacts while maintaining the social and economic benefits of the system.

The Mitigation Project

The Corps' Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation, Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project is an effort to mitigate, or compensate for the losses of 522,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat from the development of the Corp's Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project on the Missouri River. The Mitigation Project extends from Sioux City, Iowa, to the mouth of the Missouri River near St. Louis, a length of 735 river miles. The project will develop approximately 166,750 acres of land in multiple locations along the river in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. These lands provide important habitat for native fish and wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for the public.

Missouri River Recovery Program

The Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project is a component of the Corps' Missouri River Recovery Program (MRRP). The Recovery Program is the umbrella program that works to coordinate the Corps activities on the Missouri River to replace lost habitat and comply with the Endangered Species Act and the 2003 Biological Opinion by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which states that the Corps' operation of the river has contributed to the listing of three species as threatened or endangered. The program is designated to prevent duplication of efforts and coordinate with state and federal partners.

Habitat for Threatened & Endangered Species

The ecosystem of the Missouri River provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including three federally listed threatened or endangered species. The endangered least tern and the threatened piping plover are shorebirds that use nonvegetated sandbars and reservoir beaches for springtime nesting. The river currently does not naturally build enough of the habitat these birds need to nest and feed. The endangered pallid sturgeon is an ancient fish species that lives in large rivers. Loss of habitat and changes to the river's natural flows may be contributing to the pallid sturgeon's decline.

Integrated Science Program

The Integrated Science Program (ISP) is the component of the MRRP that is responsible for conducting scientific monitoring and investigations to assist the Corps in avoidance of jeopardy and compliance with the 2003 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Biological Opinion (BiOp). The ISP monitors federally-listed species under the Endangered Species Act, the habitats upon which they depend, and conducts research and monitoring to address key uncertainties in support of adaptive management.