US Army Corps of Engineers
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Continuing Authorities Program: Beneficial Use of Dredged Material, Section 204, Upper Pool 4 – Lake Pepin

Published Sept. 16, 2016
Updated: April 2, 2020

This project proposes to utilize dredged material generated from navigation channel dredging to protect and restore backwater habitat; this is a win-win-win project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, our partner agencies and the environment. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is the non-federal sponsor.


The project area is located near the head of Lake Pepin in Upper Pool 4 of the Mississippi River, between river mile 780 and 792 in the backwater complexes adjacent to the main channel. The nearest community is Bay City, Wisconsin.


Sedimentation and sediment resuspension caused a loss in water depth diversity of the backwater lakes and isolated wetlands above Lake Pepin as well as a loss in aquatic vegetation. Concerns over habitat deficiencies in Upper Pool 4 include reduced habitat diversity and quality, lack of aquatic vegetation and invertebrates, and reduced abundance of fish and wildlife.

The project will utilize dredged material generated from navigation channel dredging in Lower Pool 4 to improve the ecosystem at the head of Lake Pepin. The operations and maintenance (O&M) program will pay up to the typical cost of dredged material disposal (100 percent federal) for any dredged material used in the project.

The Tentatively Selected Plan includes the four peninsulas, two backwater overwintering areas, access dredging, shoreline protection and a water level management dike that would create a range of habitat types for fish and wildlife.


The Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance requested a feasibility study in December 2015. A feasibility study was initiated in fiscal year 2017 and will be completed in fiscal year 2020. The WDNR is the non-federal sponsor.


This study was initiated under Section 204 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992, as amended. Section 1122 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 required the Corps to establish a pilot program to recommend ten projects for the beneficial use of dredged material.


The feasibility study will be prepared at full federal expense. Design and implementation phase of the project will be cost shared using funding from O&M, Section 1122 and the WDNR.

Federal Funds Allocated to Date                     $950,000