MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., August 14, 2020. – The Green River Ferry and Green River Ferry Road north in Mammoth Cave National Park will be closed to all vehicular traffic on August 17-20 in order to complete a freshwater mussel relocation project and pavement preservation project. The relocation work is being conducted in advance of the next phase of the Green River Ferry improvement project which will extend the south ramp 30 feet into the river and require the installation of a coffer dam, and the paving work is a part of the ongoing project to resurface paved areas throughout the park.
The Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park contains some of the most diverse populations of freshwater mussels in North America. Over 50 species of mussels are found within the park with ten species included on the federally endangered list. The extension of the Green River Ferry access will require coffer dams to be built to restrict water across sections of the river. These dams, as well as the construction equipment’s impacts to the riverbed and dredging, would negatively affect the many mussels living in the construction zone
The mussel relocation project will involve a specially trained dive team who will collect mussels and “re-plant” them in the riverbed either above or below the Green River Ferry crossing. The park relocated over 2,500 mussels in May 2019, just prior to the construction work on the north Green River Ferry ramp. The mussel team collected twenty-eight different species of mussels including two species of federally endangered mussels: fanshell (Cyprogenia stegaria) and sheepnose (Plethobasus cyphyus).
To check the current status of the ferry operation, follow Mammoth Cave Roads and Ferry (@MCNPRoadsFerry) on Twitter or call the Green River Ferry Hotline at 270-758-2166.