The Mississippi River and its backwaters are home to a vast and diverse array of fish and wildlife. The river's natural fluctuations help create an environment rich in vegetation — providing food and habitat for nesting birds, fish, and numerous other creatures.
But modifications such as dams and levees, while helpful to navigation and agriculture, threaten the river's ability to sustain this critical habitat. Water level management is one tool for restoring river habitat.
Restoring River Habitats
The City of Hastings, together with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and the non-profit organization Friends of the Mississippi River, is working to preserve and enhance the natural habitat of the river in three areas near this trail.
Birds Along and Around the River
Millions of birds travel along the Mississippi River each year during fall and spring migrations. The river offers numerous food and shelter sources to these birds, making their journeys easier.
Many species of birds also consider the river home. They depend on its habitat as an oasis of food, water, shelter, and space.