Home > Media > Fact Sheets

Contact Public Affairs

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Public Affairs Office
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752

St. Paul District Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet 01: St. Paul District Highlights

Major Missions - Support the war on terrorism - Support to commercial navigation - Flood risk reduction - Emergency management and disaster response - Regulatory permit program for Minnesota and Wisconsin - Environmental management and restoration - Water supply - Recreation
Published: 3/23/2015

Fact Sheet 02: St. Paul District

The St. Paul District is where the “Mighty Mississippi River” starts its long journey through the middle of the United States of America to the Gulf of Mexico. The district borders follow the edges of four river basins – the Mississippi River, the Red River of the North, the Souris River and the Rainy River – and covers an area of approximately 139,000 square miles.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 03: St. Paul District Missions

St. Paul District mission areas: - Disaster Response - Flood Response and Risk Management - Navigation - Environmental Management - Regulatory - Recreation
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 04: St. Paul District History

The St. Paul District traces its origins to 1866, when Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to establish a 4-foot navigation channel on the notoriously unreliable Upper Mississippi River. Maj. Gouverneur Kemble Warren, a West Point graduate widely acclaimed for his leadership at the Battle of Gettysburg, was tasked with initiating the new program and conducting preliminary surveys of the main river and its tributaries.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 05: Disaster and Emergency Response

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers executes and delivers vital public emergency services to strengthen our nation’s ability to prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters or other emergencies within the United States and its territories. Emergency preparedness and response is primarily a state, local or tribal responsibility.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 06: Flood Risk Management

Section 14 of the 1946 Flood Control Act, as amended, permits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct bank protection projects. The work must be to protect endangered highways, bridge approaches and other essential public works such as municipal water supply systems and sewage disposal plants, churches, hospitals, schools and other nonprofit public services and known cultural sites endangered by flood-caused erosion.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 07: Emergency Bank Protection

Section 14 of the 1946 Flood Control Act, as amended, permits construction of bank protection works to protect endangered highways, highway bridge approaches, and other essential, important public works such as municipal water supply systems and sewage disposal plants; churches, hospitals, schools and other nonprofit public services; and known cultural sites that are endangered by flood-caused bank or shoreline erosion.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 08: Flood Plain Management

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Plain Management Services Program is authorized by Section 206 of the Flood Control Act of the 1960, as amended. Under this program, the Corps is authorized, upon request by other federal, non-federal, local or individual entities or Indian Tribes, to provide a full range of technical services and planning guidance on floods and floodplain issues.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 09: Small Flood Control Projects

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the authority, provided by Section 205 of the 1948 Flood Control Act, as amended, to plan, design and construct certain small flood control projects that have not already been specifically authorized by Congress. Both structural (levees, channels, or dams, for instance) and nonstructural (flood proofing or evacuation, for example) solutions are considered.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 10: Public Assistance to States

The Planning Assistance to States Program, also known as the Section 22 program, is authorized by Section 22 of the 1974 Water Resources Development Act, as amended in 1990 and 2007. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized to use its technical expertise in water and related land resource management to help states, federally recognized Indian Tribes and other eligible units of government with their water resource problems.
Published: 5/7/2015

Fact Sheet 11: Silver Jackets

Silver Jackets teams are collaborative state-led interagency teams, continuously working together to reduce flood risk at the state level. Through the Silver Jackets program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and additional federal, state and sometimes local and Tribal agencies provide a unified approach to addressing a state’s priorities.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 12: Navigation

Navigation is travel or transportation over water. Many different kinds of boats and vessels are used on rivers to move people and products from one place to another. Navigation was extremely important for foreign and domestic trade and travel in the early days of our country before cars, trucks, trains and airplanes were invented.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 13: Comparing Navigation

The St. Paul District is responsible for supporting inland navigation by operating 13 locks and dams and by maintaining the 9-foot navigation channel on the Mississippi River for 243.6 river miles. The district’s navigation program provides a safe, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation system on the Upper Mississippi River for the movement of commercial goods and for national security needs.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 14: Environmental Programs

One of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ critical missions is to strive for environmental sustainability. The St. Paul District recognizes the interdependence of life and the importance of the physical environment and proactively considers environmental consequences of its programs.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 14: Regulatory Program

The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s regulatory program is to protect the nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. The Corps evaluates permit applications for construction activities occurring in the nation’s waters and wetlands. Corps permits are also necessary for any work in the nation’s navigable waters.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 16: Regulatory Enforcement

The St. Paul District regulates structures and work in navigable waters of the U.S. under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S. under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act within the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The district’s Section 404 permit program averages around 6,000 final actions each year.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 17: Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration (Sec. 206)

Section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake restoration projects in aquatic ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and wetlands. The Corps evaluates projects that benefit the environment through restoring, improving or protecting aquatic habitat for plants, fish and wildlife.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 18: Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

The Upper Mississippi River System consists of 1,300 miles of the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers and several major tributaries. Prior to 1866, the Upper Mississippi River was largely natural, twisting and turning across the wide river valley with numerous islands, side channels and backwaters. In 1866, the 4-foot channel project was the first of several projects to improve conditions for navigation. The locks and dams were built in the 1930s to maintain a 9-foot shipping channel. For many years, the navigation pools created by the locks and dams supported a wealth of fish, wildlife and aquatic habitat. However, the value of this habitat gradually declined due to erosion and sedimentation. Aquatic plant beds diminished in size, and habitat diversity declined.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 19: Habitat Restoration (Sec. 1135)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the authority, provided by Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, as amended, to plan, design and construct fish and wildlife habitat restoration measures. To be eligible for consideration, restoration measures must involve modification of the structures or operations of a project constructed by the Corps of Engineers or modification of an off-project site when it is found that the Corps project has contributed to the degradation of the environment.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 20: Environmental Section

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District’s Mississippi River environmental stewardship function is headquartered in La Crescent, Minnesota. The organization is responsible for managing the lands and waters of the 9-foot channel navigation project, which includes the pool areas of 13 locks and dams along the nearly 250 mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to Guttenberg, Iowa.
Published: 5/8/2015

Fact Sheet 21: Recreation

It is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ mission to provide quality, public outdoor recreation experiences to serve the needs of present and future generations while being consistent with ecosystem management principles. As stewards of public lands, the St. Paul District has a special responsibility to assure resource accessibility for today and tomorrow while providing high quality outdoor recreational opportunities for all.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 22: Recreation Sites

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest federal provider of water-based outdoor recreation in the nation. Our recreation sites provide a diverse range of outdoor activities that promote a healthy lifestyle to millions of people every year. We are committed to providing a safe, fun and secure experience for all of our visitors.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 23: Firewood Policy

It is the policy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, to support and contribute toward the efforts of state and other federal agencies to impede the movement of invasive species by the transport of firewood.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 24: Water Management

Maintaining the region’s water resources for maximum economic and environmental benefit is a full-time endeavor for the St. Paul District. Congress mandates the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintain a 9-foot navigation channel on the Mississippi River and manage water levels while monitoring the water quality at each of its projects on a daily basis. To do this, a water management team located in the district’s water management and hydrology section in St. Paul, Minnesota, focuses solely on water resources.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 25: Regulating Mississippi River Navigation Pools

Improving navigation on the Mississippi River began as early as 1824. In 1878, the U.S. Congress authorized the first comprehensive project on the upper river: a 4 1/2-foot channel. This was followed by authorizations for a 6-foot channel in 1907 and the current 9-foot channel in 1928. To achieve the 9-foot channel in the Upper Mississippi River, the construction of a system of navigation locks and dams was authorized in 1930 and expanded in 1932, 1935, 1937, 1945 and 1958.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 26: Flood Terms

Cubic Feet per Second -- River Stage -- Flood Stage -- Acre Feet -- Reservoir Inflow
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 27: Levee Safety Program

Levees are man-made barriers along a water course constructed for the primary purpose of providing flood, storm and hurricane protection. They provide tremendous benefits to communities. For example levee systems in 2011 contributed to more than $120 billion of damages prevented. But with those benefits come risks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Levee Safety Program works to better understand, manage and reduce the flood risks associated with levees.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 28: Small Business Utilization

It is the policy of the United States government to provide maximum practicable contracting opportunities to small business. To that end, the St. Paul District’s small business program manager provides advice and guidance to the Corps’ acquisition community and the small business community for all acquisitions valued at more than $10,000.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 29: Fountain City Service Base

The Fountain City Service Base, located in Fountain City, Wisconsin, plays an essential role in supporting St. Paul District’s effort to improve navigation on the Upper Mississippi River north of Guttenberg, Iowa. The Corps has used this facility for the construction, repair and maintenance of vessels and equipment used for river improvement projects for more than a century.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 30: Dredge Fleet

The St. Paul District’s dredge fleet is made up of three vessels to include the Dredge William L. Goetz, the Motor Vessel General Warren and the Quarters Boat Harold E. Taggatz. This fleet is used to assist in maintaining 850 miles of the Upper Mississippi River, 335 miles of the Illinois River and other inland rivers and typically is used to dredge 1 to 2 million cubic yards of sediment out of the 9-foot navigation channel each year. The fleet is based out of the district’s service base in Fountain City, Wisconsin.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 31: Harbor Dredging

Sedimentation in the channel is caused by the normal cycle of silt movement, erosion from high water or heavy rains and changes in river currents. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized by various pieces of legislation to dredge a number of small harbors within its boundaries. Funding is occasionally provided to the Corps’ Civil Works Operations and Management Appropriation to do this.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 32: Minnesota and North Dakota Flood Control Projects

The Minnesota and North Dakota Flood Control Section staff is responsible for managing separately budgeted, multi-purpose water resource projects on four major river basins in eastern and north central North Dakota and western Minnesota. Resources managed include 16 dams and associated water management structures with an annual budget of approximately $4 million and 20 full-time and seasonal employees.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 34: Mississippi River Recreation and Eau Galle Lake Section

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides quality, public outdoor recreation experiences to serve the needs of present and future generations while being consistent with ecosystem management principles. In the St. Paul District, the Mississippi River Recreation and Eau Galle Lake Section Office is located in La Crescent, Minnesota.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 35: Mississippi River Headwaters Project Office

The Headwaters Lakes Project, located in north central Minnesota, consists of six dams which control a watershed area covering 4,535 square miles. Originally authorized for the purpose of navigation, the project is now primarily used for flood risk reduction, pollution abatement, water supply, recreation and natural resource management.
Published: 5/11/2015

Fact Sheet 36: Mississippi River Commission

Following several decades of constitutional squabbles, engineering disputes and regional bickering dating back to the early 1800s, Congress recognized the need to harmonize river improvements through a central organization. On June 28, 1879, the federal legislature, assisted by the efforts of a congressional coalition of navigation and flood-control interests, established the Mississippi River Commission as an executive body.
Published: 5/11/2015