The Corps provides safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems (channels, harbors, and waterways) for movement of commerce, national security needs, and recreation. The Rock Island District, Operations Division is responsible for operations and maintenance of the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway 9-foot Navigation Channel Project. The District’s area of responsibility is primarily located in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri; with small portion of Wisconsin.
The channel is maintained through dredging and navigation structures. Material is removed by either mechanical or hydraulic dredging methods. Sedimentation in the channel is caused by the normal cycle of silt movement, erosion from high water or heavy rains and changes in river currents. Material that settles in the channel area must be removed to maintain a safe and reliable channel. The material is then placed in designated areas along the river, in accordance with environmental regulations. Some of these areas are beneficial use placement areas.