MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., May 16, 2019. – The Green River Ferry in Mammoth Cave National Park is closed to all trailer traffic starting today, Thursday, May 16, due to low water levels, and will be closed to all vehicular traffic on May 20, 21, and 22 from 8 am to 4 pm in order for the park to complete a freshwater mussel relocation project. The ferry will reopen for service between 6 am to 8 am and 4 pm to 10 pm on the mussel relocation days. The relocation work is being conducted in advance of the Green River Ferry improvement projects which will begin construction on Monday, June 17, 2019.
The Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park contains some of the most diverse populations of freshwater mussels in North America and the world. Over 50 species of freshwater mussels are found within the park with ten species included on the federally endangered list.
The Green River Ferry access ramps are set to be extended 30 feet into the Green River and 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 river bed and dredging, would negatively affect many mussels living in the construction zone. The park determined that relocating the mussels would be the best option. The actual relocation project will involve a specially trained dive team who will collect the mussels and “re-plant” them in the riverbed either above or below the Green River Ferry crossing.
“Freshwater mussels are an important part of the Green River natural system, serving as indicators of good stream health,” said the Chief of Science and Resources Management, Tim Pinion. “The park is committed to protecting mussels through a variety of efforts, including relocations like this one to avoid temporary construction impacts.”
To check the current status of the ferry operation call the Green River Ferry Hotline at 270-758-2166. For more information on the Green River Ferry improvement projects, please visit the park’s website atwww.nps.gov/maca/green-river-ferry-improvement-projects.htm.