Princeton Refuge Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project 

Rock Island District

Pool 14, Upper Mississippi River Miles 504.0 - 506.4, Scott County, Iowa, Congressional District: Iowa - 1




An extensive portion of the marsh is presently occupied by heavy emergent vegetative growth.  Woody growth is encroaching extensively around the perimeter of existing wetlands. Siltation from Wapsipinicon and Mississippi River flood events exacerbate vegetative encroachment into the marsh habitat.  The potential for levee breaching and a subsequent loss of management capability is high.
 The open water, interspersed with heavy emergent vegetation, provides important habitat for migrating and nesting waterfowl, wading birds, furbearers, and other wetland-dwelling species. Material placed on the levee allows more reliable water level control, both by limiting overtopping events and, more importantly, preventing further stability failure from scouring. Relocation of an existing pumping plant allows for maintenance of optimum water levels in the constructed cells and provides for control of woody growth encroachment. The mast tree plantings  provide food resources for multiple migratory and resident species and increase overall habitat diversity.

In 2001, damage from a flooding event occurred at the project site.  These damages were assessed and repaired in 2002-3.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 1,129 (Sources: Definitive Project Report and Operations & Maintenance Manual)
  • Congressional District: Iowa - 1
  • State(s) Covered: Iowa
  • Land Ownership: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Management Agency: Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Management Authority: Cooperative Agreement / State Law


  • Remove approximately 24 inches of soil in three areas to create marshland - excavated material to be used to restore existing perimeter levee.
  • Construct low level cross dike and water control structures - relocate existing pump to create a 2-cell wetland management unit configuration.
  • Plant mast trees.


  • The Definite Project Report was completed in 1995.
  • The main construction contract was awarded in September 1996 and completed in FY 1999.
  • Flood damage construction was completed in 2002.
  • The dedication ceremony was held in November 1999. 
  • The Operation and Maintenance Manual was completed in 2002.
  • An initial Performance Evaluation Report (PER) and Flood Damage Assessment (from the 2001 flood) was completed in November 2001.
  • Performance monitoring continues.