Corps Seeks Public Comment on Rice Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

Published Jan. 26, 2010

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- The Rock Island District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has released the Draft Definite Project Report for the Rice Lake, Ill., Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project for public review and comment.  The 30-day public comment period begins January 28.


Comments regarding the Draft Definite Project Report should be submitted to:


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District
Attention: Darron Niles, Technical Coordinator
Clock Tower Building
P.O. Box 2004
Rock Island, IL 61204-2004


Rice Lake is a 6,800 acre backwater complex located 24 miles southwest of Peoria, Illinois, in Fulton County.  The project lands are state owned and are managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as the Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.


Over the past century, increased human activity within the Illinois Waterway basin, floodplain, and channel has altered the hydrology, topography, and biotic communities originally present in the Rice Lake area.  These alterations have reduced native plant and animal populations, degraded the quality of remaining natural resources and plant communities, impaired ecosystem functions, and threaten the future sustainability of the river-floodplain ecosystem.


The recommended plan includes constructing a perimeter levee to protect vegetation growing on interior wetland areas from summer stage fluctuations of the Illinois River, a spillway to protect the perimeter levee from overtopping flood damage, a pump station to allow for timely flooding of the vegetation protected by the perimeter levee for use by migratory birds, fish egress structures to ensure access to deep water refuge areas during the summer draw down period, and vegetation plantings to restore historic floodplain cover type diversity and provide food and cover for resident and migratory birds.


The report, additional information about the project and the Corps’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration -Environmental Management Program, is available on the web at

Release no. 10-01-12