The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District signed a project partnership agreement with the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners earlier this month to build seven islands in Pigs Eye Lake for the benefit of the natural environment.
Pigs Eye Lake is located east of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, in upper Pool 2 of the Mississippi River.
Sedimentation, low transparency and nutrient loading have caused the water quality and habitat suitability in Pigs Eye Lake to be poor. Additional factors, such as wind fetch and high rough fish populations, are also impacting the water quality and habitat suitability. The project features, including island construction with sand benches, marsh habitat and terrestrial planting, have the objective of reducing wind and wave action, improving vegetation, creating thermal shelter for waterfowl and protecting against shoreline erosion. For more about the development of this project, see “St. Paul District Uses Federal Beneficial Use Program to Study Island Creation in Upper Mississippi”
This project fits in with our environmental mission to preserve, restore and protect the natural environment, and, at the same time, it allows us to utilize our dredged material in an environmentally beneficial way,” Nate Campbell, Corps’ project manager said. “It’s also in our backyard, so we are very excited about it.”
The project will cost $12.6 million. The Corps of Engineers will fund $8.4 million, and Ramsey County will provide the remainder. Materials to build the islands will come mainly from material dredged from Pool 2 by the Corps of Engineers.
Work is anticipated to begin 2020 and be completed by 2022.