As part of the Mollicy Farms restoration project, last month the last of about 50,000 cubic yards of soil was excavated on Mollicy Bayou to help reestablish a functional floodplain for the Ouachita River.

Mollicy Farms is part of the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has been working with the The Nature Conservancy on various components of this multistage project since 2009, a press release states

“Reestablishing the stream flows and wetland habitats with the Mollicy Bayou effort is a major milestone for the Upper Ouachita NWR. We look forward to the public enjoying this resource into perpetuity whether they want to hunt, fish, or observe nature,” said Joe Saenz, Project Leader for the North Louisiana NWR Complex.

According to the release, the next time the Ouachita River goes into flood stage, Mollicy Bayou will be a key conduit for moving river water onto the full extent of the flood plain.

The project also reestablished the connection to a former wetland complex called Bear Brake. The large-scale restoration will provide greater water retention and establish more habitat for waterfowl and other wetland species in that portion of the floodplain. 

“Louisiana is one of the most important wintering areas for waterfowl in the nation. This is no longer a secret, especially in my hometown of Monroe,” said Conservancy State Director Keith Ouchley. “The Conservancy is proud to partner with like-minded local communities, corporations, and individuals to protect and restore this natural heritage and vital component of our culture.”