ST. PAUL, Minn. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is hosting an open house in River Falls, Wisconsin, Aug. 15, to obtain public input on a potential environmental restoration project on the Kinnickinnic River in River Falls.
At the open house, Corps of Engineers officials will provide a detailed overview of their planned feasibility study for this project and welcome the public to join and provide comment. The Corps of Engineers must conduct a feasibility study to determine costs, benefits and whether the project is in the federal interest before it can begin a project.
The open house will be held at the River Falls Public Library, 140 Union Street, starting at 6 p.m., with Corps and city officials available to share information about the ecological restoration plan.
There are currently two dams on the Kinnickinnic River in River Falls. The Kinnickinnic River is a class 1 trout stream and the river section along River Falls is highly degraded because of impoundments. The removal of the Powell Falls Dam, and possibly Junction Falls Dam present a unique opportunity to restore the river to its natural setting.
Prior to the dams being constructed, the Kinnickinnic River was a free-flowing river with natural waterfalls. Prior to the construction of the dams, the river flowed over the upper part of Junction Falls, dropping roughly 10 feet before flatting out for 100 feet then dropping an additional 16 feet over the lower falls. The impoundments of Lake George and Lake Louise have resulted in increased sedimentation, high water temperatures, and lack of aquatic diversity, which is consistent with negative ecological impacts associated to dams.
The Corps of Engineers contributes to the environmental sustainability of our nation by protecting the nation’s aquatic resources. We manage the Clean Water Act permitting program for the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, ensuring that development is accomplished in a sustainable manner.
Release no. 23-052