Mississippi River habitats near La Crosse damaged by flooding to be repaired

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) — Islands and fish habitats in the Mississippi River near La Crosse that were damaged by flooding in 2019 are slated to be fixed after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $2.4 million contract to a Stoddard company.

Water Works Dock & Boat Lift Inc. was hired to restore the habitats, which are about 40 miles south of La Crosse in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, record-high waters in 2019, as well as consecutive years of high water, caused severe erosion to several islands in the Mississippi. The islands were completely submerged for more than 90 days in 2019, eroding them and damaging deep backwater fish habitats due to increased sediment.

The work is expected to take two years.

The project is funded by the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program, which is aimed at ensuring coordinated development and enhancement in the region.

The Corps of Engineers partners on this project include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.