US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website

Crains Island Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

St. Louis District

Upper Mississippi River, Miles 103.5-105.5, Randolph County, Illinois


  • US Fish and Wildlife Service 


Crains Island was in agricultural production until 2007 when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife acquired the property. Since acquisition, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has eliminated agriculture and early successional and non-native species have taken over the former cropland. The forest community has low diversity due and the existing side channel has been disconnected from the main channel by log jams and sedimentation.

Crains Island’s primary habitat problems include: loss of historic island and side channel habitats, existing forest habitat with low diversity, reduced sheet flow across the site due to old agricultural levees, invasive plant species, and accretion of the island to the mainland.

The proposed Project seeks to restore side channel/island habitat and improve quality of the existing side channels by enhancing depth diversity and connectivity which will benefit a wide variety of riverine fish and wildlife. The proposed Project also seeks to reforest the island with floodplain forest species.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 553
  • Congressional District: IL - 12
  • State(s) Covered: IL
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge

Potential features of the proposed Project may include, but not limited to:

  • Side channel excavation and reconnection
  • Sediment deflection berm
  • Reforestation


  • Revised Fact Sheet approved: 2010
  • Feasibility study underway