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Improving habitat in Mississippi River

Overview of Pierce County Island Wildlife area. Photo courtesy of St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers1 / 2
Jon Hendrickson, Hydraulic Engineer, answered local residents’ concerns about the upcoming habitat project in Lake Pepin. Kit Murray / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials and staff met at the Red Wing Public Library Foot Room on Tuesday, June 11 to discuss an upcoming habitat study to improve the ecosystem of the Mississippi River at the head of Lake Pepin. Currently, the area faces a variety of issues including a lack of emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation.

Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, Wisconsin DNR, Audubon, Ducks Unlimited and a variety of other entities advocated for the feasibility study to be conducted in the area.

The meeting constituted the first public open house on the project, titled "Project 204," allowing citizens to gather and discuss the future study. Corps anticipate utilizing dredged material from the same Upper Pool 4 to improve the Lake Pepin area, covering 26,000 acres, by building islands, dredging backwater areas, creating, improving wetlands and stabilizing the shoreline and planting floodplain forest.

Looking ahead, Corps will develop a plan and prepare a draft report with the anticipation to build the project in 2019.

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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