LAKE CITY, Minn. (AP) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving forward with a proposal to build islands near the head of Lake Pepin by using sand and sediment removed from the Mississippi River.

The federal agency is proposing the project to restore backwater fish and wildlife habitat. The project would also use material that the Corps already dredges up annually to help barges move freely.

Tom Novak is a project manager at the agency's St. Paul district. He says nonprofits and residents have noticed island erosion, a lot of sediment and a loss of tree species. He says nonprofit Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance pitched the idea to the Corps a few years ago.

Novak says the agency is working to finish the project's design by April.