Although navigation was the initial purpose of Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project, Congress has since authorized the development of recreational facilities, protection of forest resources, and required the consideration of fish and wildlife conservation.
The project begins at Minneapolis, Minnesota (river mile 854.0) and ends just below Guttenberg, Iowa (river mile 614.0).
The Mississippi River recreation and environmental stewardship functions are headquartered in La Crescent, Minnesota. The organization includes Blackhawk Park, a recreation area located 30 miles south of La Crescent, with overnight camping, day-use areas and boat launching facilities. Operation and maintenance of three additional boat access locations at Bad Axe, Millstone and Jay’s Lake landings are also administered by this organization.
A progressive forestry/wildlife program is actively managed under an existing memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for approximately 25,000 acres held in federal ownership in the project area. Much of this area makes up the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.
Funding in fiscal year 2020 supports historical Operation and Maintenance activities on the Mississippi River. This includes: water level management coordination, land/habitat management, endangered species mitigation, boundary re-surveys and monumentation, real estate management including encroachment resolution and shoreline management permits, operation of developed recreation areas, cultural resource protection, and an update to the Mississippi River Master Plan.
The Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project is authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1930 and PL 78‒534, 69‒560, 92‒500, 71‒520, 85‒624 and 89‒72.
Work plan $527,000