Corps To Build Habitat Islands In UMR Pool 2 With Dredged Material

The St. Paul Engineer District announced June 18 that it will build seven islands in the middle of Pig’s Eye Lake with dredged materials. Pig’s Eye Lake is located east of downtown St. Paul, Minn., in upper Pool 2 of the Mississippi River.

The district signed a project partnership agreement with the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners earlier this month to build seven islands in the lake for the benefit of the natural environment.

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.

Project Features

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.

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“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,” said Corps project manager Nate Campbell. “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 cover $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 in 2020 and be completed by 2022.