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For additional information on the Shoreline Management Program feel free to e-mail or call 309-794-4439 

Shoreline Management Program


The Mississippi River Project's Shoreline Management Program is designed to provide guidance for the management, protection, and preservation of the Mississippi River’s environment while allowing a balanced use of the shoreline.  As part of this program, the Rock Island District will establishes policy concerning private exclusive use of Corps of Engineers-owned property from Guttenburg, Iowa to Saverton, Missouri.  Private exclusive use involves placing private recreational structures or pursuing certain activities along Corps shorelines that are limited to the individual and are usually not available to the general  public. 

The Mississippi River Project is currently reviewing the 1989 Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for potential revision in 2016 concurrent to the Master Plan revision. Corps staff will be seeking input on Shoreline Management and the current SMP during the Master Plan public scoping process in 2015.  For more information, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Authorized structures must be operated, used and maintained in a safe, healthful condition at all times. You may do minor upkeep to structures, but, if you wish to change the structure, its dimensions or its location, you must obtain prior approval before any work can be done.
If the structure is one that is allowed on federal lands; you will need to complete an application. After the application is reviewed you will receive written notice of approval or denial. You must obtain approval before construction can begin.
Certainly not!  Most shoreline areas are very delicate and need the vegetation in order to not erode away. Many banks are steep and sandy. These erode away from high winds and rains. Unauthorized tree removal can result in the issuance of citations and mitigations. Refer to the Management Strategies Section.
Maybe. You need to contact the Shoreline Ranger, 309/794-4439, and schedule an on-site inspection. You will be provided a written notice exactly which branches you may remove. You need permission before cutting any vegetation or trees on government land. You are also responsible for any contractor you hire to do tree work.
No: benches, chairs, picnic tables and grills are items not allowed in the Limited Development Areas. These items can be used while recreating along the river but must be pulled back on to your private property daily.
Owners of permitted facilities may take the necessary precautions to protect their property from theft, vandalism or trespass, but may in no way preclude the public right of pedestrian or vessel access to the water surface or public land adjacent to the facility.
YES!! The Mississippi River Project has a program called Renew Our Resources (ROR).  This program obtains trees and allows our neighbors to plant and care for trees on Federal Land. If you are willing to "adopt" a tree, please contact the Shoreline Ranger for more information.
Some docks may be located in Cottage Lease Areas. These are leases issued by Real Estate Division and have their own set of rules to follow. Some docks may not be on Federal land. All docks on the Mississippi River will need to be authorized by the Corps Regulatory Division since they are located on a Federal Waterway
Both of you will need to notify us, the Mississippi River Project Office. We will need to be notified that you are no longer responsible for the site. The new owner will need to complete an application. If there are any items that need repaired, removed or corrected to meet the new standards, this work will need to be done before a permit will be issued to the new owner.
No, but the Corps can issue you a permit so you can place an erosion control structure on Federal Land. Most erosion is due to the bank being stripped of vegetation and root systems. Submit an application for erosion control structures. Do not forget to include the type of vegetation you will be planting on federal land. Usually by planting native vegetation on the bank, you can alleviate numerous erosion problems for the future.