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.
Project locations: Orwell Lake on the Otter Tail River, approximately six miles southwest of Fergus Falls, Minnesota; Highway 75 Dam on the upper Minnesota River near Odessa, Minnesota; Lac qui Parle on the Minnesota River near Montevideo, Minnesota; Red Lake Dam located at the outlet of Lower Red Lake in the northeastern part of Clearwater County, Minnesota.
The Minnesota River originates in southwestern Minnesota at the Minnesota-South Dakota border. It drains 16,770 square miles in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa. It flows 335 miles to join the Mississippi River at Mendota, Minnesota, just south of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The hydrology of the basin has been significantly altered, leading to increased erosion, impaired water quality, substantial sediment and nutrient loads, and degraded aquatic ecosystems in the Minnesota River, Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico.
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.
Fish migration up the Little Minnesota River has ceased, which is of great concern to the Sisseton band of the Dakota. This study aims to determine the cause of the lack of migration and identify potential solutions. The study area for this project is the Little Minnesota River between Big Stone Lake and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Lake Traverse Reservation, which is approximately 200 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and 158 miles north of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The primary area of concern is located in Roberts County, South Dakota, and just outside of Browns Valley, Minnesota, in Traverse County and Big Stone County, Minnesota.