Construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway resulted in unavoidable losses of wildlife resources. The construction of pools, canals, and recreation facilities impacted about 34,000 acres of bottomland hardwood habitat.
The need existed to compensate for the loss of wildlife resources due to the impacts of the project. Section 601 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (dated November 17, 1986) authorized mitigation for wildlife losses resulting from construction, operation, and maintenance of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Mississippi and Alabama.
The act allowed for the designation of project lands for mitigation purposes (approximately 72,500 acres at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and approximately 20,100 acres at other projects); and management of 88,000 acres of additional lands in strategic locations within the states of Mississippi and Alabama.
Wildlife mitigation activities include enforcement, population surveys, and habitat management for both game and non-game species. Programs exist for forestry management, upland and waterfowl wildlife management, and threatened and endangered species management along the waterway.