US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District Website Website

Small-Boat Harbor Dredging, St. Paul, Minnesota

Published Oct. 2, 2015
The St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor is on the lower end of Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minnesota, at Upper Mississippi River mile 839.6 on the right descending bank. The length of the harbor is 2,375 feet; the width varies from 200 to 400 feet. The Corps of Engineers is authorized to maintain the harbor to a depth of 5.0 feet below low control pool elevation of 687.2 feet mean sea level (msl). The city of St. Paul is the non-Federal sponsor for the project and is required to furnish a suitable placement site for the dredged material. The city or its designated operator, the St. Paul Yacht Club, is responsible for all docks and similar facilities at the harbor. The harbor is designed for use by small recreational craft.

Original construction of this project was completed in 1949. Since 1990, the St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor has been dredged on 15 occasions. An average of 8,750 cubic yards has been dredged per event. The St. Paul District provided funds for dredging in 2002, which was the last year reprogramming of funds was allowed. In 2001 and 2006, the city of St. Paul performed dredging at its own expense because Corps funding was not available. In 2008 a congressional appropriation funded the dredging directly. 

In August 2008 a portion of the project area upstream of the Wabasha Street Bridge was dredged to the authorized depth and width with removal of nearly 15,000 cubic yards of material. A hydraulic model study report was completed in January 2011. It identified two potential future actions to reduce long-term dredging requirements. Both of these actions are being pursued by the city of St. Paul and the Corps of Engineers. In September 2011 the remainder of the 2008 funding was used to accomplish a small amount of dredging. Hydrographic surveys will continue to be performed as needed to assess conditions, and the information will be provided to the city of St. Paul (non-Federal sponsor for the project). Dredging will be performed in the future as funds allow.

Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945; House Document 547, 76th Congress, 3rd Session.

Operation and maintenance of the project is funded under the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Operation and Maintenance appropriation. In FY08, Congress appropriated $186,000 to fund maintenance dredging at the St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor. The dredging cost accounted for $133,525.50. After the study was completed in 2011 the remaining funds of the original appropriation were used to remove about 2,100 cubic yards of material.