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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Programs & Project Management
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul MN 55101

(651) 290-5755.


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Posted 9/16/2016

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Updated September 2018


Image of project areaThe project area is located near the head of Lake Pepin in Upper Pool 4 of the Mississippi River. The proposed project area would be located between river mile 780 and 792 in the backwater complexes adjacent to the main channel.

Lake Pepin extends about 22 miles in length from the delta of the Chippewa River to approximately river mile 787, which is about 3 miles downstream of Red Wing, MN. Upper Lake Pepin consists of channel border islands and backwater lakes grading into an expansive, shallow open water area with little physical structure.

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 Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance requested a study in December 2015.  In April 2016 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District received $50,000 to initiate a feasibility study.  A federal interest determination was completed in June 2016 and was approved in August 2016.  A feasibility study was initiated in fiscal year 2017 and will be completed in fiscal year 2019. 

The project will utilize dredged material from Pool 4 to improve the ecosystem at the head of Lake Pepin.  In this Section 204 project, the operations and maintenance program (100 percent federal) will pay up to the cost of typical dredged material disposal; remaining costs are funded through the Section 204 program.  Potential alternatives may include the construction of new islands of various sizes, dredging and improving adjacent floodplain forest that would create a range of habitat types for fish and wildlife.


Section 204 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992, as amended.



The federal interest determination and feasibility study will be prepared at full federal expense.  If it is determined the project is feasible, the design and implementation phase of the project will be cost shared at 65 percent federal and 35 percent non-federal for the costs above the operations and maintenance program, with a total federal maximum contribution not to exceed $10 million.

Federal funds allocated to date:  $550,000.


Beneficial Use of Dredged Material CAP Continuing Authorities Program environmental restoration Lake Pepin St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Upper Mississippi River