Under the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized to plan, design and construct certain types of water resource and ecosystem restoration projects without additional and specific congressional authorization. The purpose is to implement projects of limited scope and complexity. Each authority has specific guidelines and total program and per-project funding limits. Studies are cost-shared 50/50 during feasibility. Most projects are cost-shared 65 percent Federal and 35 percent non-Federal during implementation, unless otherwise noted.
Determine whether or not continued operation and ownership of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam (USAF) is in the federal interest, and if not, provide supporting information for deauthorization of the project purposes and disposal of the property. USAF is located on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Minnesota River had been recognized as highly degraded and a significant sediment source filling Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River and delivering nutrients to the Gulf of Mexico. The Minnesota River Basin Reconnaissance Study, Section 905(b) Analysis recommended an “Integrated watershed, water quality management, and ecosystem restoration analysis, leading to the development of a basin scale watershed management plan” for the Minnesota River Basin. The purpose of this Minnesota River Basin Interagency Study (MRBI Study) was to implement that recommendation by engaging agency partners and using advanced hydrologic modeling and environmental benefit analysis. The intent was to understand water, sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus transport across large landscapes to evaluate hydrologic, sediment and nutrient runoff response to historic, existing and probable future conditions.
Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Upper Mississippi River are a significant threat to the endangered Higgins eye pearlymussel (Lampsilis higginsii) and winged mapleleaf (Quadrula fragosa). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District and Engineer Research and Development Center are conducting a study in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Park Service; the Departments of Natural Resources from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa; and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Recommended management alternatives outside the Corps’ existing authorities would need to be implemented by others.
The hydrology in the area has changed significantly, driven in part by change in land use and climate. The proposed project aims to improve habitat for aquatic vegetation and migratory waterfowl by providing water level management capabilities that target management goals of the refuge.