Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Bass Ponds Marsh & Wetland Habitat Restoration

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 15, 2018
Updated: March 30, 2022
Bass Ponds project overviewPurpose

The hydrology in the area has changed significantly, driven in part by change in land use and climate. The proposed project aims to improve habitat for aquatic vegetation and migratory waterfowl by providing water level management capabilities that target management goals of the refuge.


This study area is located within the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in an urban floodplain area near the cities of Shakopee and Savage, Minnesota. The lake and marsh areas are south of the Minnesota River (river miles 15‒21) and include Blue Lake, Fisher Lake, Rice Lake and the adjacent Continental Grain Marsh.


The selected plan includes construction of five concrete stop-log structures with associated rock-lined overflows, access dredging to the structures and two earthen plugs.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began planning this project in fall 2017. The Corps completed a final feasibility study in May 2019. Plans and Specifications were completed in March 2020. A construction contract was awarded in June 2020. Notice to proceed was issued in July 2020. The construction contract will be completed in the fall 2022. A project dedication is tentatively scheduled for October 11, 2022.


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 has been planning and designing the project as part of a cooperative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and local interests.


Project design and construction costs will be 100% federally funded because the project is located on lands managed as part of a national wildlife refuge. Operation and maintenance costs will be 100% federal, a responsibility of the USFWS.

Construction Funding to Date                        $6,727,000
Estimated Project Construction Costs           $4,975,000