Dredging & Marine Construction

Corps Awards $14.7 Million Contract To Build Islands In Pool 2

The St. Paul Engineer District, in partnership with Minnesota’s Ramsey County, awarded a $14.7 million contract June 25 to LS Marine Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., to restore habitat on Pigs Eye Lake, located in upper Pool 2 of the Mississippi River.

The project will enhance and restore backwater habitat by creating island and wetland features on Pigs Eye Lake using more than 400,000 cubic yards of material dredged from Pool 2 of the Mississippi River by the Corps during maintenance of the navigation channel. The material will be moved about 12 miles, according to Taylor Luke, president of LS Marine, which is headquartered in Stillwater, Minn. The contract includes the placement of riprap and willow plantings to protect against erosion.

The project features, including island construction with sand benches, marsh habitat restoration and terrestrial planting, are designed to reduce wind and wave action to improve vegetation, create thermal shelter for waterfowl and protect against shoreline erosion. The total project footprint will be approximately 40 acres and will provide benefits to more than 600 acres of Pigs Eye Lake and the surrounding habitat.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2025 with additional monitoring and management to follow.

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LS Marine has been in business since 1985 and is a full-service marine construction firm that maintains a full suite of equipment including crane, spud and deck barges, earth movers, towboats and excavators. Its services include bank revetment, marine construction, dredging, stevedoring, pile driving and marine equipment rental and support. 

The Corps of Engineers uses the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material program to fund projects like this that create or restore aquatic and wetland habitats in connection with construction and maintenance dredging.

Beneficial use of dredged material has also been used for upland habitat development, beach nourishment and levee repair and improvement.