In January 2006, the Environmental Demonstration Area became the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary (RMBS). This change was made due to the area being designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary encompasses a total of 3700 acres. Within the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is a 1200 acre wetland/prairie restoration project.
On Friday, June 12, 1998 the Corps of Engineers dedicated the Environmental Demonstration Area. The dedication event allowed for the Corps of Engineers, our partners, and our supporters to recognize the Corps commitment to stewardship and how through our partners and the support of the community we have and are continuing to expand environmental education and outdoor recreation opportunities. Recognizing the need and social relevance for wetland restoration in the Riverlands service area, the staff developed a plan to restore and protect 1,200 acres of wetlands located within the Environmental Demonstration area and adjacent to the Melvin Price Locks & Dam.
Designed as a flow-through wetland with controlled water levels this area hosts an abundant array of waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors to delight birdwatchers of all ages. January and February are especially busy with eagle-watchers from near and far that enjoy viewing our national symbol. The Riverlands Environmental Demonstration Area (EDA) represents the Corps commitment to restoring environmentally and historically significant remnants of land. Click here for a map of the entire Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
The RMBS exemplifies a balanced management approach between sustaining the rivers as a national transportation corridor and recognizing the environmental attributes of the area. The project utilizes the river's continuing influence to create bottomland wet prairie and marsh land to that which existed prior to the settlement of man in the area.
A short drive from the city, just 40 minutes from downtown St. Louis , open space, fresh air, and spectacular views of nature's glory are within your reach. The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is a place where families, school classes, and groups can visit to learn about the importance of habitat protection and restoration while balancing mans' disturbances with protected refuges.
The RMBS includes Ellis Bay Waterfowl Refuge, Teal Pond, Heron Pond, Native Prairie Restoration Project, Least Tern Habitat Project Freshwater Marshes, Trails plus many educational resources.
Public facilities and trails throughout the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary have been built by Eagle Scouts from the St. Louis Council, Boy Scouts of America. More projects which will help the public get a better view of wildlife and plant life within the RMBS continue.