On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, awarded a $4.1 million contract to S.M. Hentges & Sons Inc., of Jordan, Minnesota, to begin constructing a habitat restoration project between Shakopee and Savage, Minnesota.
The completed project will include six water-level management structures designed to restore diminished plant and bird habitat in Blue Lake, Rice Lake, Fisher Lake and Continental Grain Marsh.
These structures will provide the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency that runs the refuge, the ability to raise, lower and/or maintain water levels in the lakes and marsh.
The contractor could start work as early as 2020, and it is anticipated the work will take 2 years to complete.
This project is funded under the authority of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Environmental Management Program. This program 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.
The Corps of Engineers partners on this project include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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.
Photo of Rice Lake, Minnesota courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.