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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 20, 2017
Updated: March 30, 2022

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.


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.


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.


Complete construction of Conway Lake, Bass Ponds, and Harpers Slough flood damage repair. Continue construction of McGregor Lake. Start design of Lower Pool 10 Islands. Planning continues for Reno Bottoms and Big Lake.

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


Congress originally authorized the UMRR Program in Section 1103 of the 1986 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) (Public Law 99‒662), codified at 33 U.S.C.  652. Section 307 of WRDA 2020 (Public Law 116‒260) increased the authorized program funding to a combined $55 million annually.

To implement the program, partnerships have been formed among the Corps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Illinois.


The authorized program funding is $55 million annually to include three Corps districts on the Upper Mississippi River. The fiscal year 2022 appropriation is $33.17 million. The fiscal year 2023 President’s Budget for the UMRR program is $55 million.

The fiscal year 2022 allocation for the St. Paul District is $7.1 million.