This Refuge was created in response to the Great Flood of 1993. The three parcels of bottomland that now make up this Refuge had been riverine polders, agricultural land protected by dikes. After the dikes were breached by this flood, the damaged land parcels were transferred to the federal government. The Fish and Wildlife Service has announced plans to slowly return these three parcels to the status of semi-natural bottomlands. Pursuant to these plans, the Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge was established in May 2000.