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Plans for Beaver Island

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to spend up to 20 million dollars to restore one of the largest islands in the Mississippi River. Tuesday night it'll hold a public open house in Clinton to describe the Beaver Island Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project. 

Project Manager Carla Sparks says Beaver Island is just across the main channel from the city of Clinton. Sediment has filled in the backwater lakes and made them very shallow.

"One of the project features will be to deepen and widen out some of those backwater lakes to be more like they were historically prior to the lock and dam system being put into place. And that'll  allow for over-wintering habitat for fish."

The project will also include using the dredged material to raise the level of the island, especially the downstream end. 

"There's only one species down there now which is silver maple and they're all one age, so when they die, there'll really be nothing that can replace them. We're trying to elevate that area and and more species of trees will be planted."

Sparks says they also plan to build up a small nearby island, Albany Island, to prevent further erosion, and use it for mussel habitat. 

Work on the project should begin next year (2018) and take 4 to 5 years to complete. 

Tuesday night's open house runs from 6 to 8 pm at the Erickson Center in Clinton.