For additional information on the Shoreline Management Program feel free to e-mail or call 309-794-4439 

Shoreline Management Program

The Mississippi River Project's Shoreline Management Program is designed to provide guidance for the management, protection, and preservation of the Mississippi River’s environment while allowing a balanced use of the shoreline.  As part of this program, the Rock Island District will establishes policy concerning private exclusive use of Corps of Engineers-owned property from Guttenburg, Iowa to Saverton, Missouri.  Private exclusive use involves placing private recreational structures or pursuing certain activities along Corps shorelines that are limited to the individual and are usually not available to the general  public. 

The Mississippi River Project is currently reviewing the 1989 Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for potential revision in 2018. Corps staff will be seeking input on Shoreline Management and the current SMP.  For more information, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 My dock is in need of repair. What do I need to do?
Authorized structures must be operated, used and maintained in a safe, healthful condition at all times. You may do minor upkeep to structures, but, if you wish to change the structure, its dimensions or its location, you must obtain prior approval before any work can be done.
 What do I need to do if I want to add something to my site?  
If the structure is one that is allowed on federal lands; you will need to complete an application. After the application is reviewed you will receive written notice of approval or denial. You must obtain approval before construction can begin.
 I cannot see the river from my house. Can I clear out some of the trees?

No.  Most shoreline areas are very delicate and need the vegetation in order to not erode. Many banks are steep and sandy. These erode away from high winds and rains. Unauthorized tree removal can result in the issuance of citations and require mitigation. Refer to the Management Strategies Section for more information.

 There are a few dead branches hanging over my steps and dock. Can I cut them?

Maybe. You need to contact the Shoreline Ranger, (309) 794-4439, and schedule an on-site inspection. You will be provided a written notice of exactly which branches you may remove. You need permission before cutting any vegetation or trees on government land. You are also responsible for any contractor you hire to do tree work.

 Can I put a bench on my dock?

No. Benches, chairs, picnic tables and grills are items not allowed in the Limited Development Areas. These items can be used while recreating along the river but must be pulled back onto your private property daily.

 I do not want people on my dock and steps. What can I do?

Owners of permitted facilities may take the necessary precautions to protect their property from theft, vandalism or trespass. However, they may not preclude the public right of pedestrian or vessel access to the water surface or public land adjacent to the facility.

 Some trees have died from age, flooding and storms. Can I replant more?

Maybe! As the Mississippi River Project has many sensitive and significant resources that require special considerations. Many activities, including those involving ground disturbance, on Federal land require prior approval. Please contact the Shoreline Ranger at (309) 794-4439 for more information. 

 Why are there different rules for docks on the Mississippi River?

Some docks may be located in Cottage Lease Areas. These are leases issued by Real Estate Division and have their own set of rules to follow. Some docks may not be on Federal land. However, all docks on the Mississippi River need to be authorized by the Corps Regulatory Division since they are located on a Federal Waterway.

 I am selling my home.  Can the new buyer take over my permits?

Both of you will need to notify the Mississippi River Project Office. We will need to be notified that you are no longer responsible for the site and the new owner will need to complete an application. If there are any items that need to be repaired, removed or corrected to meet new standards, this work must be completed before a permit can be issued to the new owner.

 The bank is eroding. Will the Corps place riprap to stop the erosion?

No, but the Corps can issue you a permit to place an erosion control structure on federal land. Most erosion is due to the bank being stripped of vegetation and root systems. You must submit an application for erosion control structures, which should include the type of vegetation you will be planting on federal land. Usually by planting native vegetation along the bank, you can alleviate numerous erosion problems.