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Protect Natural Floodplain Functions

Graphic of city park with areas labeled.

Photo credit: Waggonner and Ball

Gretna’s City Park is a major asset in the protection of natural floodplain functions. This report describes the many ecological benefits and floodplain functions the park provides.

View a map of Gretna City Park’s riparian habitat.

What are some natural functions of floodplains?


    • Natural Flood and Erosion Control
      • Provide flood storage and conveyance
      • Reduce flood velocities
      • Reduce peak flows
      • Reduce sedimentation
    • Water Quality Maintenance
      • Filter nutrients and impurities from runoff
      • Process organic wastes
      • Moderate temperature fluctuations
    • Groundwater Recharge
      • Promote infiltration and aquifer recharge
      • Reduce frequency and duration of low surface flows
    • Biological Productivity
      • Promote vegetative growth through rich alluvial soils
      • Maintain biodiversity
      • Maintain integrity of ecosystems
    • Fish and Wildlife Habitats
      • Provide breeding and feeding grounds
      • Create and enhance waterfowl habitat
      • Protect habitats for rare and endangered species

Protect Natural Floodplain Functions by Treating our Water Systems Well

A floodplain can be a valuable community resource. Not only can open floodplains store floodwaters which minimize flood damage, the natural vegetation of a floodplain can also filter pollutants from stormwater and improve our water quality.

Gretna is surrounded by the Mississippi river and canals; therefore, we must use drainage canals to remove stormwater into the surrounding waterways. Stormwater carries untreated water runoff directly into our storm drains which leads to waterways and impacts our environment.

City ordinance (UDC Sec. 58-279) states it is illegal to dump debris such as trash, oil, grease, or other pollutants in catch basins, drainage ditches, or canals. Do not dump anything into any portion of the City’s drainage system as debris can cause the drainage system to malfunction and increase flooding.

Drainage System Maintenance

The City of Gretna Department of Public Works has a drainage system maintenance program. You can help minimize flooding by cleaning catch basins in front of your property when they start to look like this:

Leaf clogged storm drain

Not only is it important to keep our canals free flowing, we must also consider the quality of our waterways as they provide our drinking water and affect the health of our seafood, frogs, and other wildlife that live in our waterways and provide us with food and recreation.

Please report any illegal dumping here or contact Public Works.

Gretna Natural Areas Map

Only rain down the drain