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 St. Paul District operates and maintains 13 locks and dams from Upper St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. Each lock and dam is a critical step in the "stairway of water" that makes navigation possible between Minneapolis and St. Louis, Missouri. These facilities are aging structures, with locks and dams 2 through 10 originally constructed in the 1930s. These sites include a dam bridge and varying numbers of dam gates. The moveable dam gates are one of the most critical system components because they control pool elevation for navigation, flood control and environmental purposes.
Authorized purposes for the Eau Galle Lake Project include flood control recreation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife. Eau Galle Lake is located on the Eau Galle River immediately upstream of Spring Valley, Wisconsin, approximately 50 miles east of the Twin Cities of Minnesota.
The Section 154 program encompasses Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, and Iron Counties, Wisconsin. Program responsibilities are shared between the St. Paul and the Detroit Districts. It authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide assistance to northern Wisconsin public entities in the form of design, construction and reconstruction assistance for: water-related environmental infrastructure; resource protection and development projects, including navigation and inland harbor improvement and expansion; wastewater treatment and related facilities; water supply and related facilities; environmental restoration and surface water resource protection and development.
The basic objectives of the Levee Safety Program are to develop balanced and informed assessments of levees within the program; evaluate, prioritize and justify levee safety decisions; and recommend improvements to public safety associated with levee systems. The Corps created the National Levee Database, inventoried all levees in the program and improved inspection procedures.
Miter gates are integral to Mississippi River Locks and Dams, 2 through 10. Miter gates are comprised of two leaves that provide a closure at one end of a lock. Locks and Dams 2 through 10 have utilized the same miter gates since their inception. Over time, distress has been observed and has led to serviceability and safety issues. The purpose of this project is to restore the gates, increasing longevity and operational readiness, while decreasing repair costs and downtime due to maintenance of failure.
The tow rail system is integral to the operation of each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10. It is attached to the top of the lock guidewall and helps guide tows through the lock chamber. Each system is comprised of an operating unit, rail and traveling kevel or “mule.” The Locks and Dams 2 through 10 tow rail systems have been deteriorating over the past several years, requiring rehabilitation of these systems.
The Planning Assistance to States program, also known as the Section 22 program, is authorized by Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA, of 1974, as amended. This law provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist states, local governments and other non-federal entities in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, use and conservation of water and related land resources. Section 208 of WRDA 1992 amended WRDA 1974 to include eligible Native American Indian tribes as equivalent to a state.
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 St. Paul District is authorized to maintain a 9-foot navigation channel on the St. Croix River from the mouth at the confluence with the Mississippi River near Prescott, Wisconsin, to river mile 24.5 near Stillwater, Minnesota. The authorized width is 200 feet. A 3-foot channel is authorized from river mile 24.5 to river mile 51.8 near Taylors Falls, Minnesota. The authorized width for this reach is 25 feet, and the controlling depth is 1 foot at extreme low water.
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.
Located in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) is a series of lakes that was once a highly productive wild rice water with copious amounts of fish. Within LCO, Musky Bay produced the most wild rice and served as the primary spawning habitat for muskellunge, which are native to LCO. The lake has been known for producing trophy-size fish, including a world record. Presently, due to eutrophication, the wild rice has almost completely disappeared and fish are disappearing within the boundaries of the LCO Reservation. Eutrophication, which occurs when a body of water becomes overly enriched with nutrients, has caused a dense growth of undesirable plant life and fish kills.
Fed by groundwater, Big Sand Lake is a clear, soft water lake that has varying levels of algae growth within the year, affecting lake health. The lake, located in Burnett County, Wisconsin, is typically 1,434 surface acres with a maximum depth of 55 feet. Tribal elders have indicated that these areas were good ricing spots historically but have decreased in size over time. No harvests have occurred for many years. Additionally, approximately 2,000 lineal feet of shoreline is actively eroding into tribal land along the south eastern bank of Big Sand Lake.