Pigs Eye Lake
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, in close collaboration with Ramsey County Parks & Recreation, has completed a feasibility study in addition to an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) and an EAW Record of Decision (ROD) on constructing habitat enhancements in Pigs Eye Lake. The proposed project would enhance and restore backwater habitat by creating island and wetland features within Pigs Eye Lake.
The combination of low-quality habitat available within Pigs Eye Lake and the abundant wildlife nearby suggests that habitat improvement could help the local ecosystem significantly. The Pigs Eye Heron Rookery Scientific and Natural Area to the south of the lake is one of the largest nesting sites for colonial waterbirds in Minnesota, and one of four places in the state where yellow-crowned night herons are known to nest.
Project features include seven islands, sand benches, marsh habitat and land plantings. These will improve aquatic and land habitat as well as maintaining the shoreline of Pigs Eye Lake.
The project team completed a draft feasibility study and the 30-day public comment period ended on April 12, 2018. The total estimated project cost is $15.6 million. The Corps' Operation and Maintenance budget would provide $3.2 million toward the project. The remaining $12.4 million would be cost-shared by the Section 204 program ($8.1 million) and the local sponsor, Ramsey County ($4.3 million). Parks & Recreation was awarded the $4.3 million from the Lessard-Sam’s Outdoor Heritage Council.