Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa Habitat Restoration

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 20, 2017
Updated: Sept. 25, 2023
Purpose

This program, authorized by Congress in 1986, emphasizes habitat rehabilitation and enhancement projects (HREPs) and long-term resource monitoring. The HREP component includes dredging backwater areas and channels, constructing dikes, creating and stabilizing islands, controlling side channel flows and water levels, and creating floodplain forest habitat.

Location

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program includes studies and projects located in the Upper Mississippi River system north of Cairo, Illinois. The system includes the Illinois River.

Description

In the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, the projects are located along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers from Guttenberg, Iowa (Lock and Dam 10) to Minneapolis, Minnesota, a distance of about 250 river miles.

The long-term resource monitoring component includes monitoring trends and impacts with respect to selected resources, developing products for resource management decisions and maintaining river information databases.

Status

Project transfer was successfully completed for Conway Lake, Bass Ponds, and Harpers Slough to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for operation and maintenance. Construction continues at McGregor Lake. Design continues for Lower Pool 10 and Reno Bottoms. Planning continues for Big Lake and Robinson Lake.

Thirty projects have been completed throughout the Mississippi River within the St. Paul District area of operations.

Authority

Congress originally authorized the UMRR program in Section 1103 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, Pub L. No. 99-662 (codified as amended at 33 U.S.C. § 652). Section 8345 of WRDA 2022, Pub. L. No. 117-263, increased the authorized program funding to a combined $90 million annually.

To implement the program, partnerships have been formed with the USFWS, U.S. Geological Survey and the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Illinois.

Funding

The authorized program funding is $55 million annually to include three Corps districts on the Upper Mississippi River. The fiscal year 2023 appropriation is $55 million. The fiscal year 2024 President’s Budget is $55 million.

The fiscal year 2023 allocation for the St. Paul District is $11.6 million.