Posted on May 16, 2022
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Upper Minnesota River Watershed District will celebrate the completion of the Marsh Lake environmental enhancement project with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 14, at 11 a.m.
This is an update from the previous date of May 17. This event is postponed due to recent rain and storm events, which have made it unsafe to access the site.
The ceremony will be held at Marsh Lake Dam, off 255th Ave SW, southwest of Appleton, Minnesota, and will feature speakers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Upper Minnesota River Watershed District and others. The public is invited to attend or watch it live on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/usacemvppao.
The Marsh Lake project involves habitat enhancement by improving conditions for waterfowl and fish in the area. The project includes rerouting the Pomme de Terre River to its historic channel and constructing a drawdown structure and a fish passage at the Marsh Lake Dam. At less than 5 percent of the average cost for a habitat restoration project of this size, this project is expected to provide significant returns in environmental and habitat enhancement benefits. The total cost was $13.4 million.
Marsh Lake lies within the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In the fall, as many as 150,000 Canada geese use the management area at one time. Marsh Lake is also home to Minnesota’s largest breeding colony of American white pelicans and several species of fish. The project features include:
- Restoring the Pomme de Terre River to its natural channel;
- Modifying the dam with a fishway for fish passage; and
- Constructing a drawdown water control structure.
In combination, these features will contribute toward more natural water surface fluctuation, restoring river habitat and providing for ecosystem connectivity. The variability associated with natural flooding and drying cycles will promoting growth of emergent and submersed aquatic vegetation, increasing waterfowl habitat and reducing sediment resuspension.