McGregor Lake habitat construction project begins

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, has started the first phase of the McGregor Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project to restore habitat within Pool 10 of the Upper Mississippi River. 

The McGregor Lake (known by many locally as Horseshoe Lake) project, located between Marquette-McGregor and Prairie du Chien, will restore and protect island habitat, protect shoreline from erosion and create overwintering fish habitat. The goal of the project is to provide habitat and food and resting places for river wildlife, such as migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, turtles, frogs and fish. The total project is anticipated to cost approximately $20 million.

The first phase will consist of transferring 70,000 cubic yards of dredged sand from the nearby McMillan Island dredged material site to McGregor Lake. This phase is anticipated to take two to three months to complete, while the total project may take up to five years to construct.

Boaters are cautioned to be aware of construction vessels in the McGregor Lake area during this time and observe navigation signage.

The McGregor Lake project was planned and designed as part of a cooperative effort between the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and local interests.

This project is funded under authority of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Environmental Management Program. The 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. In the more than 30-year history of the program, nearly 60 habitat projects benefiting approximately 100,000 acres on the Upper Mississippi River, from Minneapolis to St. Louis, have been completed.

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