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Bass Ponds Habitat Restoration and Enhancement

Posted: 10/28/20

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District and the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service will celebrate the start of an environmental restoration project for the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge with a 'virtual' groundbreaking ceremony Friday, November 6, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

The ceremony will be broadcast on Facebook Live on the St. Paul District's Facebook page at  It will take place from 10:00-10:30 a.m. and include brief statements from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the shoveling of dirt on site.

This project is located within the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in an urban floodplain area in the northern city limits of Shakopee and Savage. The lake and marsh areas are south of the Minnesota River (river miles 15‒21) and include Blue Lake, Fisher Lake, Rice Lake and the adjacent Continental Grain Marsh.

The hydrology in the area has changed significantly, driven in part by changes in land use and climate. The project aims to improve habitat for aquatic vegetation and migratory waterfowl by providing water level management capabilities that target management goals of the refuge.

The project includes construction of six water-level management structures designed to restore diminished habitat. These structures will provide the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service the federal agency who runs the refuge, the ability to raise, lower and/or maintain water levels in the lakes and marsh.

The project is funded under the authority of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Environmental Management Program.  The project will be 100 percent federally funded because the project is located on lands managed as part of a national wildlife refuge.  The Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service also partnered on this project with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Bass Ponds Infographic

Construction Zone Sign

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