Ground Broken For Steamboat Island Habitat Project On Upper Mississippi River

The Rock Island (lll.) Engineer District and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted a public groundbreaking ceremony October 4 to mark the start of construction for the Steamboat Island Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project near Princeton, Iowa. The ceremony was held at  the public access area on the south side of the Princeton Wildlife Management Area.

The $33.6 million Steamboat Island project, funded as part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program, is in Pool 14 of the Upper Mississippi River, from River Miles 502.5 to 508.0. It includes approximately 2,620 acres of interconnected backwaters, secondary channels, wetlands, islands, floodplain habitat and aquatic habitat and is part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

The project will be completed in two stages. A contract for stage one was awarded earlier this year to Architectural Consulting Group of Chicago Inc. for $8.8 million. Rehabilitation and enhancement efforts over the next several years will involve increasing year-round aquatic habitat diversity, diversifying floodplain forest habitat, restoring island acreage and protecting and enhancing backwater habitat.

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