General Overview


Pool 13 of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) is the area between Lock and Dam 13 at river mile 522.5, near Fulton, Illinois, and Lock and Dam 12 at river mile 557, at Bellevue, Iowa. Pool 13 includes portions of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Green Island Wildlife Management Area, state parks and recreation areas and the Lost Mound Unit, formerly the Savanna Army Depot. The cities of Bellevue and Sabula, Iowa, and Savanna, Illinois, lie along the river. Each has developed shorelines, including homes and businesses on the waterfront.


Primary Response Goals:

1.  In general, any spilled oil product should be diverted and kept in the main channel of the Mississippi River. Then, if possible, the oil should be diverted with boom and collected. Most collection sites are near boat landings or at back water inlets. Few opportunities for collection are found below Sabula, as the river widens considerably, and the main channel is inaccessible from either shore.

2.  Keeping product out of key backwater areas is the top priority in any spill event. Of primary concern are Running Slough, Crooked Slough, and Elk River backwaters.

3.  A spill at or below Sabula should be collected as near to the source as possible. As noted above, few opportunities to collect are found downstream.

4.  Navigating the shallow marshes and backwater of the lower Pool will require the guidance of locals familiar with boating in the area. Shallows, sandbars, and stump fields present safety hazards.


To further explain the techniques used above, refer to the image below labeled 539 – Upper Savanna Bay in the GRP. The strategy for this location is to boom across the channel to exclude the spilled product from Savanna Bay.



If a spill occurs, it is essential to notify federal, state, and local authorities within 24-hours of the spill. To inform federal authorities, call the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802. To contact state authorities in Illinois, please call (217) 782-7860. To reach state authorities in Iowa, please call (515) 725-8694. To contact local authorities, please call 911. For more detailed information, refer to the Upper Mississippi River Spill Response Plan.

Click to Download Pool 13 GRP

The Upper Mississippi River Pool 13 Geographic Response Plan is available to download as a ZIP file. To download the files to use them locally, click on the link above. The download should start automatically, or your browser will prompt you to approve and save the file. The ZIP file is 226 MB, so it may take between 10-20 minutes to download depending on your Internet speed. Once the file is downloaded, unzip the files and open the Pool_13_GRP.exe file.

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