Upper Mississippi River System Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP)

Published Dec. 2, 2020
Updated: Dec. 2, 2020
Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) is a long-term program of ecosystem restoration and navigation improvements for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). NESP will improve system capacity and reduce commercial traffic delays through construction of seven new 1,200-foot locks, mooring cells, and switchboat implementation. 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ NESP includes studies and projects located in the UMRS north of Cairo, Illinois. The system includes the Illinois River.
In the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, the projects are located along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers from Guttenberg, Iowa (Lock and Dam 10) to Minneapolis, Minnesota, a distance of about 250 river miles.
The navigation component includes improvement of navigation projects and features, largely pertaining to lock and dam infrastructure. The ecosystem restoration component includes mitigation efforts in response to increased inundation and habitat degradation. 
Continue Pre-Construction Engineering and Design of the Pool 2 Wing Dam Modification Project. Initiate construction by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 if Construction General funding is allocated.
In the St. Paul District, eight additional projects were previously initiated within the program: Systemic Cultural Resource Protection, Root River Floodplain Restoration, Pierce County Floodplain Restoration, Upper Iowa River Delta Restoration, Pool 5 Water Level Management, Pool 9 Water Level Management, Forestry Management/Improvement in Reno Bottoms, Lock and Dam 8 Embankment Modification. Some of the above projects have been adopted by other Corps’ Programs, while others may continue under NESP if additional General Investigations Funds are allocated.
NESP was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (Title VIII) to construct small-scale navigation improvements (mooring cells and switchboats), seven new 1200-foot lock chambers and ecosystem/habitat restoration.
An economic update was completed in fiscal year 2019. Pre-Construction Engineering and Design activities are now advancing throughout the Mississippi Valley Division with $4.5M in fiscal year 2020 General Investigation funds.  Work is concentrated on projects that can be ready for a construction contract award in fiscal year 2021.
The program objective is for $18M in construction capability by the end of fiscal year 2021.