Corps to build islands in Mississippi River at Head of Lake Pepin

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to build islands in the Mississippi River at the Head of Lake Pepin in an effort to restore backwater habitat.

Through the pilot program, corps engineers will use dredged material to construct the islands. The material comes from Reads Landing Dredged Material Placement Site in Lower Pool 4, located just north of Wabasha, Minn.

According to a release, the island construction project could use up to 500,000 cubic yards of dredged material that's already been removed from the Mississippi River at the confluence of the Mississippi and Chippewa rivers.

Corps engineers are currently comparing the costs and benefits of alternatives. Construction could begin as soon as 2020. The project would be federally funded.

Proponents say the island construction project will provide “up to three years of additional dredged material storage capacity, but will not solve the dredged material placement needs near Wabasha since the Corps removes approximately 250,000 cubic yards of dredged material annually from Lower Pool 4.”