In April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District released the draft Environmental Assessment for a habitat rehabilitation project at the head of Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River in Pierce County, Wisconsin. The Corps will accept comments on the document until May 11.
In lieu of hosting a public meeting during a national pandemic, the district made a presentation on the proposed project available on the public notice on April 22. This presentation will be available through the comment period.
The proposed project was planned in collaboration with the Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Natural Resource and other partners. The Corps will beneficially use dredged material removed from Reads Landing Dredged Material Placement Site in Lower Pool 4, located just north of Wabasha, Minnesota, to construct the peninsulas. The project could use up to 400,000 cubic yards of dredged material, and enhance and restore backwater habitat in Lake Pepin.
A complex of four peninsulas, overwintering dredged areas, water level management features and shoreline protection would be constructed to improve habitat for fish and wildlife. Features were designed to reduce the negative impacts of sediment on aquatic plants and fish, as well as to create and protect floodplain forest and wetlands for migratory birds and other wildlife.
This project was selected last year as one of 10 Corps projects to participate in a national pilot program to use dredged material to improve habitat.
Questions on the project or comments on the EA can be directed to Steve Clark, project biologist, at 651-290-5278 or Steven.J.Clark@usace.army.mil by May 11. Please address all formal written correspondence on this project to the St. Paul District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: Regional Planning and Environment Division North, 180 5th St. E., Suite 700, St. Paul, MN 55101.