Many natural islands bordering the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-maintained navigation channel and extending into the backwater have eroded and are disappearing. Erosion from wave action and main channel flows reduces the wetland, resulting in the loss of aquatic vegetation and shallow protected habitats necessary for fish and wildlife to survive. The purpose of this project is to reestablish lost habit and ecosystem health.
The Lower Pool 10 Islands are part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program. The site is a 1,000-acre side channel and island complex located on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River navigation channel in Pool 10, about one mile upstream from Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. The site lies within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.
The proposed project goals include protecting and restoring island complexes that would enhance quality habitat for native and desirable species by reducing suspended solid concentrations and reducing wind fetch. Project features may include island construction, shoreline protection rock mounds and dredging.
The Corps began project planning in early fiscal year 2019 and released a draft feasibility report in fall 2021. The feasibility report was approved in May 2022. Design is currently underway for stage 1 with a construction contract award anticipated in fiscal year 2024 subject to appropriations.
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.
The Corps will plan and design the project as part of a cooperative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Wisconsin and Iowa Departments of Natural Resources and local interests.
Project design and construction costs will be 100% federal because the project is located on lands managed as a national wildlife refuge. Operation and maintenance costs will be 100% federal, a responsibility of the USFWS.
Federal Funds Allocated to Date $1,450,000