Tennessee Acquires Jackson Floodplain Area

"The goal of the restoration project is to reduce the flood risk for this area while also bringing entire ecosystems back to their natural function," said WTRBA Executive Director David Salyers. "Recreation amenities will also be constructed for visitors."

The West Tennessee River Basin Authority, an agency that is part of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, announced April 3 that an 858-acre floodplain area north of Jackson has been acquired by the state and will be restored to include a recreation area. The result will be improved and naturally functioning stream and wetland ecosystems over an area larger than New York City's Central Park.

"This project will provide an increased level of protection for public roads, agricultural properties, businesses, and wildlife habitats during significant flood events," said Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris. "It will also contribute to cleaner water in Tennessee's waterways, positively impacting the health of our natural environment and our neighbors."

"The goal of the restoration project is to reduce the flood risk for this area while also bringing entire ecosystems back to their natural function," said WTRBA Executive Director David Salyers. "Recreation amenities will also be constructed for visitors, including hiking and biking trails, areas for viewing wildlife, waterway access, and more. With interpretive signage, there will also be educational opportunities for school groups and the local community."

This project was conceived and is managed by the WTRBA, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and The Nature Conservancy with assistance from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, Madison County, the City of Jackson and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. "At the outset of this acquisition, we sat down with TDEC, the WTRBA, and TWRA and together developed a vision for the restoration of this riverside property," said Jeff Fore, West Tennessee Program director for The Nature Conservancy. "All of our agencies are working together to address flooding and to return this wetland area to its natural state, while providing the community with quality outdoor recreation opportunities. Now that vision is taking shape. We're most appreciative to TDEC, the WTRBA, and TWRA for their commitment to improving water quality and wildlife habitats."

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