Small-Boat Harbor Dredging, St. Paul, Minnesota

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published Oct. 2, 2015
Updated: Sept. 26, 2023


The Corps of Engineers is authorized to maintain the St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor to a depth of 5.0 feet below low control pool elevation of 687.2 feet mean sea level (msl). The city of St. Paul is the non-federal sponsor for the project and is required to furnish a suitable placement site for the dredged material. The city or its designated operator, the St. Paul Yacht Club, is responsible for all docks and similar facilities at the harbor. The harbor is designed for use by small recreational craft. The length of the harbor is 2,375 feet; the width varies from 200 to 400 feet.


The St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor is on the lower end of Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minnesota, at Upper Mississippi River mile 839.6 on the right descending bank.


Original construction of this project was completed in 1949. Since 1990, the St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor has been dredged on 17 occasions. An average of 8,208 cubic yards has been dredged per event. In 2001 and 2006, the city of St. Paul performed dredging at its own expense because Corps of Engineers funding was not available, but the dredging need was dire. The St. Paul District was last funded in fiscal year 2022; $500,000 was earmarked to dredge the harbor.

The first of a two-phase dredging project was completed in 2022 which included dredging 19,000 cubic yards. Phase two was completed in summer 2023 and included dredging 19,200 cubic yards. Hydrographic surveys will continue to be performed as needed to assess conditions, and the information will be provided to the non-federal sponsor, the city of St. Paul. Dredging will be performed in the future as funds are appropriated.


Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945; House Document 547, 76th Congress, 3rd Session.


Operation and maintenance of the project is funded under the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Operation and Maintenance appropriation. In fiscal year 2008, Congress appropriated $186,000 to fund maintenance dredging at the St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor. The dredging cost accounted for $133,525.50. After the completion of the study in 2011, the remaining funds from the original appropriation were used to dredge approximately 2,100 cubic yards of material. In fiscal year 2017, an allocation of $75,000 was provided through the work plan. The city of St. Paul later requested $500,000 for dredging through the Community Project Funding program. The funding was received as part of the fiscal year 2022 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Funding bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee in July 2021.