The project is located in west-central Minnesota along an 11.4 mile stretch of channelized river. Breckenridge, Minnesota, is approximately 8.5 miles downstream of the project area and is the nearest town. The Lower Otter Tail River Channel Improvement Project was constructed in the 1950s to provide protection against the 10-year flood by clearing, enlarging, and straightening the existing river channel. The project reduced the length of the river in this reach from 18 miles to 11 miles. The straightened channel is now characterized by unstable banks, headcutting, excessive sediment loading, degraded in-stream and riparian habitats, and turbidity levels exceeding standard for aquatic life.
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.
The study area is located in a rural setting in Polk County, Minnesota, 275 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Sand Hill River basin is centrally located in the Red River Valley watershed. A major reach of the river downstream of Fertile, Minnesota, was the subject of a flood control project constructed by the Corps of Engineers from 1955 to 1958. It involved straightening the river and constructing several drop structures and served as a drainage improvement to local agriculture. Overall, more than 18 miles of the Sand Hill River was straightened or abandoned.
Wahpeton is in Richland County in eastern North Dakota, approximately 55 miles south of Fargo, North Dakota. The Red River of the North and the Bois de Sioux River border the city on the east. The confluence of the Otter Tail River with the Red River of the North is located at Wahpeton. The city of Breckenridge, Minnesota, lies east across the Red River of the North from Wahpeton.
All Minnesota flood control sites include flood risk management, recreation and environmental stewardship business line functions. Each has public use facilities for shore fishing, picnicking, bird watching and other activities. The land is actively managed for habitat enhancement. Lake Traverse is on the Minnesota–South Dakota border between Browns Valley, Minnesota, and Wahpeton, North Dakota/Breckenridge, Minnesota. It consists of two dams, two reservoirs and the Browns Valley Dike.
The purpose of this project is to reduce the risk of flooding to the residents of Breckenridge Minnesota. Breckenridge is in Wilkin County in western Minnesota, approximately 200 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and 55 miles south of Fargo, North Dakota. The Red River of the North and the Bois de Sioux River border the city on the west. The Otter Tail River flows from the east, bisecting the city. Wahpeton, North Dakota, is located to the west across the Red River from Breckenridge. The devastating flood of 1997 in the Red River basin generated a strong response at all levels of government to implement permanent flood risk management projects for urban communities along the Red River of the North.
The Flood Risk Management program minimizes flood damages and disruptions caused by recurring flooding of the Minnesota and Chippewa rivers. Montevideo is located in Chippewa County in western Minnesota, approximately 130 miles west of St. Paul, Minnesota. The city is at the confluence of the Chippewa and Minnesota rivers and is subject to flooding from both rivers.
The Lac qui Parle dike and emergency spillway is designed to retain the Lac qui Parle Reservoir during times of flood but is designed for overtopping during extreme events. The overtop elevation of the spillway is 940.75 feet.
The Lac qui Parle Dam is located on the upper Minnesota River 30 miles east of the South Dakota border. The dam is about seven river miles upstream of Montevideo, Minnesota. The dike and emergency spillway is adjacent to and west of the dam between the dam and County Hwy 75. The damaged area of the spillway extends approximately 2,500 feet from the dam.
The purpose of this project is to modify the existing Marsh Lake Dam to increase the bio-diversity of the Minnesota River/Lac qui Parle/Pomme de Terre River ecosystem without compromising the flood risk management function of the Marsh Lake Dam. Marsh Lake is located on the Minnesota River between Swift and Lac qui Parle counties near Appleton, Minnesota. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and maintains Marsh Lake Dam as part of the Lac qui Parle Flood Risk Management project. The fixed-crest dam holds a conservation pool in the upper portion of the Lac qui Parle Reservoir.
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.
The Red River of the North rises in Lake Traverse near Wheaton, Minnesota and flows north towards Canada and ultimately to Lake Winnipeg. The Red River Basin Commission (RRBC) produced the Long Term Flood Study (LTFS) in 2011 after the 2009 event. Minnesota and North Dakota expressed the need for a coordinated, comprehensive, proactive plan that responds to and mitigates flooding and flood damages throughout the Red River Watershed.
The Yellow Medicine River is a major tributary to the Minnesota River located in southwestern Minnesota. The study area for this project includes approximately 685 square miles of mostly agricultural lands across five counties. The Yellow Medicine River Watershed was selected by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources as one of five pilot area for the One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) program. The program allows counties to transition from county based water management planning to watershed based planning.
The Red River of the North basin covers 45,000 square miles and occupies substantial portions of North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, southern Manitoba and a small portion of northeastern South Dakota. Land use in the basin is primarily agricultural, but several urban centers are located along the Red River main stem and tributaries. While extensive drainage systems have resulted in extremely rich agricultural areas, portions of the basin still support the ecologically abundant prairie-pothole region. Flooding is a major concern for residents in the basin; frequent floods have impacts on urban and rural infrastructure and agricultural production.
The Red River of the North basin is an international, multi-jurisdictional watershed of 45,000 square miles, with 80 percent of the basin lying in the United States and 20 percent in Manitoba, Canada. Eighteen Minnesota counties and 22 North Dakota counties lie wholly or partially in the basin. The river flows to the north, bringing water and nutrients to Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. Flooding and loss of native habitat are significant issues in the Red River basin.
The Tribal Partnership Program is authorized by Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. The Tribal Partnership Program provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with Indian nations to study and determine the feasibility of carrying out projects that will substantially benefit Indian nations. Activity may address (A) projects for flood damage reduction, environmental restoration and protection and preservation of cultural and natural resources; (B) watershed assessments and planning activities; and (C) such other projects as the Corps, in cooperation with Indian tribes and the heads of other federal agencies, determines to be appropriate.
The Lower Sioux Indian Community requested the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for riverbank stabilization on the Minnesota River. A feasibility cost share agreement between the Corps and the Lower Sioux Indian Community was signed and funding provided for a study to assess the problems and opportunities being faced by the Lower Sioux Indian Community on their tribal lands and make recommendations related to erosion along the Minnesota River adjacent to and impacting those lands.
The study will assess the problems and opportunities being faced by the Upper Sioux Community on their tribal lands and make recommendations related to erosion along the Minnesota River adjacent to and impacting those lands.