ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, awarded a $4 million contract to McHugh Excavating and Plumbing, Inc., of Onalaska, Wis., Feb. 5 to begin construction on the second and final stage of its Capoli Slough Islands habitat restoration project, taking place five miles south of Lansing, Iowa, in Pool 9 on the Mississippi River.
The project is an effort to restore lost and diminished fish and wildlife habitat in Pool 9 by protecting islands that have eroded and constructing new islands where islands have completely disappeared. Island loss allows more wave action in the backwaters, which can uproot plants and keep sediment suspended. Suspended sediment increases the cloudiness of the water, which reduces the amount of sunlight that penetrates the water and results in diminished plant growth.
Stage 2 will involve constructing three new narrow islands to protect existing islands that have eroded and two large new islands. Material to build the islands will be dredged from the vicinity of the islands and the main river channel. Construction for this contract will start in the spring 2013 and be completed in the fall 2014. Because many construction vessels will be in the area, extreme caution should be exercised when boating in the area.
The Capoli Slough Islands project was planned and designed as a cooperative effort between the Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the states of Iowa and Wisconsin. For more information about the project, contact Tom Novak, Corps project manager, at 651-290-5524.
This project is funded under authority of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Environmental Management Program, or EMP. The EMP is intended to ensure the coordinated development and enhancement of the Upper Mississippi River system with primary emphasis on habitat restoration projects and resource monitoring. In the 27-year history of EMP, more than 55 habitat projects benefiting approximately 100,000 acres on the Upper Mississippi River, from Minneapolis to St. Louis, have been completed.
The nearly 700 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.