Newt Marine Wins Upper Mississippi River Wildlife And Fish Refuge Restoration Contract

The St. Paul Engineer District awarded a $5.5 million contract to Dubuque Barge & Fleeting Service Company, doing business as Newt Marine Service, September 20 to begin constructing Stage 2 of a habitat restoration project in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge located near Prairie du Chien, Wis.

The stage 1 contract was awarded in September 2020, and work is ongoing. Stage 2 will complete additional floodplain forest features on the northern end of McGregor Lake, along with improving backwater fisheries by means of habitat dredging areas north of the Highway 18 bridge. Construction for stage 2 is expected to be completed in 2025.

The completed project will restore eroding peninsulas around McGregor Lake, dredge backwater habitat for overwintering fish and enhance floodplain forest habitat. The forests in the Mississippi River corridor provide critical habitat for migrating songbirds, nesting bald eagles, herons, kingfishers and other birds.

The project was planned in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Iowa and Wisconsin departments of natural resources and the local communities. It is funded under the authority of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program, which is intended to ensure the coordinated development and enhancement of the Upper Mississippi River system with primary emphasis on habitat restoration projects and resource monitoring. In the more than 30-year history of the program, more than 55 habitat projects benefiting approximately 100,000 acres on the Upper Mississippi River, from Minneapolis to St. Louis, have been completed.

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