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Ecosystem restoration project proposed for Mississippi River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking at a new Mississippi River restoration project, starting with a 39-mile stretch near Memphis, Tennessee, that could help save threatened and endangered aquatic animals.

The project — which would aim to increase vegetative habitats; optimize connections between the river and the flood plain; and give the public more access for recreation — would impact more than 6,000 acres in Tennessee, reaching from the Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge to the mouth of the Wolf River near downtown Memphis.

The lower Mississippi supports several hundred unique species, including eight federally threatened or endangered animals like the pallid sturgeon and the Fat Pocketbook Mussel.

Initial construction and engineering costs for the proposed project would total about $50 million dollars.