US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website


Boston Bay Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

Rock Island District

Pool 18, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 433 - 435, Mercer County, Illinois, Congressional District: IL - 17


  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources (ILDNR)


Sedimentation has resulted in the loss of deep water habitat and depth diversity within the Project area.  Deep water habitat in conjunction with related environmental factors of dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and flow velocity are essential for fresh water fish to survive during critical winter and summer months.  In addition, sedimentation has functionally isolated the Boston Bay HREP site from the Mississippi River during low seasonal flows and compromises water quality during both winter and summer.     

Sedimentation and water level fluctuation are suspected as the primary limiting factors negatively affecting water quality, production of desirable aquatic vegetation, fish production, and bottomland forest diversity.  Managers and the public recognize a negative trend in overall habitat quality and believe these factors are threatening long term sustainability of fish and waterfowl habitat in upper Pool 18.  In addition, long term monitoring of an established heron rookery in the area has indicated a decline in recent years.

The Project area was an extremely valuable and critical overwintering site for many species of fresh water fish in Upper Pool 18 where few backwaters exist.  Due to its highly productive and diverse aquatic vegetation, the area formerly supported a large population of migratory waterfowl. 

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 922
  • State(s) Covered:
  • Land Ownership: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Management Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency
  • Management Authority: Cooperative Agreement 


  • Dredging
  • Reroute discharge water
  • Deflection berm
  • Reforestation
  • Water control structures
  • Perform small scale temporary drawdown
  • Shoreline protection
  • Aquatic vegetation reestablishment
  • Sediment Basin 


  • The Fact Sheet was approved in September 2010.