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Nahant Marsh Highlighted in Scientific American Magazine

One of ATEEC's partners, Nahant Marsh, was recently highlighted in the Scientific American magazine article, "Along the Mighty Mississippi, Cities Swap Sandbags for Marshes."

Excerpt from article:

‘Doing Exactly What It's Supposed To Do’

Davenport, Iowa, located a few hundred miles upriver from Grafton, has been an exemplar of landscape-level flood protection.

The city of 102,000 is home to the largest urban wetland on the Upper Mississippi River. Known as the Nahant Marsh, the 305-acre preserve was for decades a hunting and skeet-shooting club. When the club closed in 1995, the marsh was so polluted with spent lead that more waterfowl were dying of toxic exposure than gunshot.

EPA declared the Nahant Marsh a Superfund site in the late 1990s. After the removal and cleaning of about 60,000 cubic yards of toxic soil, the site was handed back to the city. It’s managed today as an education center, providing residents with rare access to seasonally wet bottomland forest, marshland and open water habitat.

But the Nahant Marsh’s greatest community benefit is its ability to act as a massive urban floodwater sponge, catching and filtering up to 2 billion gallons of water during peak flows on the Mississippi.

Brian Ritter, executive director of the nonprofit organization that manages the marsh, said the city of Davenport has long viewed flooding as part of its natural heritage and has adapted accordingly.

Read the rest of the article