USACE inks Mississippi River island restoration agreement

The USACE St. Paul District and the Prairie Island Indian Community yesterday signed a project partnership agreement for an environmental improvement project on the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minnesota.

Col. Karl Jansen, St. Paul District commander, and Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council President Shelley Buck signed the agreement to complete the Mississippi River Sturgeon Lake Island Restoration Project, located upstream of Red Wing.

“This is a huge accomplishment and a testament to the continued partnership with the Prairie Island Indian Community,” said Kim Warshaw, St. Paul District project manager.

“Not only are we restoring and protecting a culturally significant island on the Mississippi River, we are blazing a path forward to seek opportunities to support Native American tribes and their water resource development needs.”

With the signed agreement, the project can now enter the next phase. This includes final designs and construction of the more than $1.3 million project.

The work is expected to be finished by the end of 2024.

The project, once complete, will restore and protect an island of cultural significance for the Prairie Island Indian Community, increase floodplain forest habitat, stabilize the island and significantly reduce invasive species.

The project is the first under the Tribal Partnership Program within the Mississippi Valley Division and only the second project within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move into the design and implementation phase.

Photo: USACE