US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website


Piasa - Eagles Nest Islands Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project                             

St. Louis District

Pool 26, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 208 - 211, Madison and Jersey Counties, Illinois, Congressional District: IL-13


  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources 


The Piasa and Eagle’s Nest Islands Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project is approximately 1,350 acres of island, side channel, and wetland habitats located on the left descending bank of the Mississippi River, upstream of the City of Alton, Illinois in Madison and Jersey counties between river miles 207.5 and 211.5.  The Project is located solely on federally owned lands and managed waters.  Lands are managed by the St. Louis Corps of Engineers’ Rivers Project office, with some management in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the non-Federal project sponsor.

The primary habitat problems identified include loss of depth and flow in Piasa Chute, loss of year-round connectivity and depth within the Piasa Island backwater, loss of diverse island complex, and loss of emergent wetlands.

The proposed Project goal is to restore and improve the quality and diversity of aquatic, island, and wetland ecosystem resources within the Project Area.  The proposed Project objectives include:

1) Increase acre-feet of deep aquatic habitat within Piasa Chute

2) Provide a diversity of water velocities within Piasa Chute

3) Provide year-round connectivity with a diversity of water velocities within Piasa Island backwater

4) Maintain existing acreage of island habitat

5) Restore additional acres of historic island habitat

6) Maintain existing acreage of emergent wetland vegetation

7) Restore additional acres of emergent wetland vegetation

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 1,350
  • Congressional District: IL-13
  • State(s) Covered: IL
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Authority: Cooperative Agreement 

Proposed Potential Features

  • Side channel excavation
  • Backwater excavation
  • Island protection (on-shore or off-shore)
  • River training structures
  • Island formation
  • Woody structure (wood pile dikes, woody bundles, etc.) 


  • Fact Sheet Approved,  September 2010
  • Feasibility Study underway
  • Hydrualic Sediment Response Model underway