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Mainstem big rivers were selected by the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks (GCPO) Adaptation Science Management Team (ASMT) as a priority habitat system within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley subgeography. Mainstem big rivers are dominant feature on the GCPO landscape - eight of the largest ten rivers in the lower United States by discharge terminate in the GCPO. The goal of this dataset is to determine the amount, configuration and condition of key habitat features of the mainstem big rivers of the GCPO. The desired ecological state for priority habitat systems should characterize the least impacted condition – systems in this condition should be targets for maintenance/protection and the goal of restoration activities...
The Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks (GCPO) region is, to a large extent, defined by its mainstem big rivers, with eight of the largest ten rivers (by discharge) in the lower U.S. terminating here. Those rivers are the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Mobile, Atchafalaya, Red, and Arkansas. Whilethis assessment focuses on rivers of the MAV, the analysis has also been extended to big rivers throughout the GCPO.People have historically altered large river systems through the construction of levees and floodways, channelization, and dredging to support agriculture, navigation, commerce, and to provide greater stability and protection from flooding. Many large rivers in the GCPO are, in fact, part of theinland...