USACE, Ramsey County Partner on Pigs Eye Lake Scheme

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, has inked a project partnership agreement with the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners earlier this month to build seven islands in St. Paul’s Pigs Eye Lake for the benefit of the natural environment.

Image source: USACE

Pigs Eye Lake is located east of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, in upper Pool 2 of the Mississippi River.

Sedimentation, low transparency and nutrient loading have caused the water quality and habitat suitability in Pigs Eye Lake to be poor. Additional factors, such as wind fetch and high rough fish populations, are also impacting the water quality and habitat suitability.

The project features, including island construction with sand benches, marsh habitat and terrestrial planting, have the objective of reducing wind and wave action, improving vegetation, creating thermal shelter for waterfowl and protecting against shoreline erosion.

“This project fits in with our environmental mission to preserve, restore and protect the natural environment, and, at the same time, it allows us to utilize our dredged material in an environmentally beneficial way,” said Corps’ project manager Nate Campbell. 

The project will cost $12.6 million; the Corps of Engineers will cover $8.4 million while Ramsey County will provide the remainder.

Materials to build the islands will come mainly from material dredged from Pool 2 by the Corps of Engineers.

Work is anticipated to begin 2020 and be completed by 2022.