Distributary Ecologies: Managing faucets to create a range of ecosystems
We propose to cycle between distributaries (faucets) to preserve a balance of estuarine and freshwater ecosystems. We must think of the Delta as a whole in sustaining fish and wildlife.
Diversity of Delta Ecosystem
Estuarine zones with wetlands are an essential part of the ecosystem and to the recreational and commercial fishing community. We have grown accustomed to estuarine conditions across the Delta because most of the freshwater and the land-building sediment have been transported to the Gulf channelized by the levees of the Mississippi. Land building with the river therefore means less estuarine area – it is a difficult trade-off and it will be necessary to find an equitable balance.
Rapid land-loss and minimal land growth
Estuarine conditions across the Delta
Growth Stage of a sub-Delta (faucet on):
Freshening of water
Freshwater wetlands, swamps, and forests
Submergence Stage of a sub-Delta (faucet off):
Estuarine ecosystems created as salty water from the Gulf mixes with freshwater in wetlands