Nahant Marsh copes with extreme damages after historic flood

DAVENPORT, Iowa  --  Davenport city leaders are looking at adding more natural flood protection options to prevent future flooding. This could be a potential future alternative to HESCO barriers or a flood wall.

Executive Director of Nahant Marsh, Brian Ritter, said marshes are a resilient, durable and can absorb gallons of floodwater to help decrease flooding downstream. He said that marches can handle being underwater for short periods of time, but they can not handle being underwater for more than 90 days like they were this year.

"It's a little heartbreaking, Ritter said. "A little disappointing. This is our busy season, we like it to look good aesthetically, but i'm more concerned about the plants and animals that live here. Can they tolerate this?"

There are dead plants, trash, and fuel contamination. Workers say during the flood they saw more than 60 rubber tires floating on the marsh.

Workers fear they will never get the natural wildlife and plant life back, because they can not sustain being underwater for this long.

Total, they've documented more than 430 kinds of plants here, some possibly gone for good.

'We had a nest of Sand Hill Cranes, Ritter said. "Those are rare for our area. They've only come back the last few years. There were two eggs in that nest and they would have been fine, but the river came up and flooded them out."

Ritter says only time will be able to tell what will or will not come back.

He also says there's really no way to prevent another mass destruction on the marsh. It all comes down to how long that river will flood next time.

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