The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, accomplished a major milestone on the Marsh Lake ecosystem restoration project yesterday.
The St. Paul District and the Upper Minnesota River Watershed District (UMRWD) officially completed the design agreement for the project. The Corps and the sponsor will now work together to design the ecosystem restoration project.
The Marsh Lake project, near Ortonville, Minn., will restore the ecosystem by improving the habitat for waterfowl and aquatic species in the area. The restoration includes rerouting of the Pomme de Terre River to its historic channel, constructing a drawdown structure and a fish passage at the Marsh Lake Dam, and breaching the abandoned fish pond at the dam.
At roughly 3 percent of the average cost for a habitat restoration project of this size, the Marsh Lake project is expected to provide a significant return in ecosystem and habitat restoration benefits to the region.
“This project is a great example of the Corps and its partners developing cost-effective solutions to restore the ecosystem and provide much needed habitat for fish, waterfowl and other migratory birds, said Shahin Khazrajafari, St. Paul District project manager. “The investment in this project will benefit the nation’s environment and natural resources for generations.”
The project was authorized when President Barack Obama signed the Water Resource Reform and Development Act of 2014 into law June 10. The project still needs to receive appropriation, or funding.