Omaha, NE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, in partnership with the city of Sheridan, will hold a ceremony to sign a project partnership agreement to restore approximately four miles of degraded habitat along the Goose Creeks in Sheridan, Wyoming. The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, starting at approximately 10:30 a.m. MDT at the Sheltered Acres Park picnic area, 1455 Emerson Street. The agreement, which will be signed by Col. John Hudson, Omaha District Commander, and Sheridan Mayor Roger Miller, marks the transition of the project from the planning phase to the design and construction phase.
This project will involve placing in-stream structures (boulder clusters and riffles) to provide habitat and shelter for fish and other aquatic organisms; restore wetland, riparian and floodplain habitats to increase their abundance, diversity and distribution along the creeks; and modify the current drop structures near the Lewis Street Bridge to improve fish passage for native cold water fish species. The plan also includes recreation features that complement the ecosystem restoration components, including adding new trails, benches and educational interpretive signage. The entire project is being designed to be compatible with maintaining the existing flood protection that the channel and levee system provides, and none of the project features will increase flood risks for the city.
BACKGROUND: The Sheridan flood control project, constructed in 1963 under the Flood Control Act of 1950, consists of levees; drainage structures; concrete chutes and drop structures; and channel alterations to protect the city from Goose Creek and Little Goose Creek flooding. The existing project has been highly effective at reducing flood risks for the city as intended, but the instream and adjacent floodplain habitats were significantly altered during its construction and have become severely degraded. In September 2014, the Sheridan City Council approved an agreement to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a feasibility study to investigate possible ecosystem restoration solutions along the creeks. After several years of collaboration with the city on evaluating potential alternative plans and incorporating public and agency input, the final feasibility report and environmental assessment was approved on November 8, 2018. The approved project is estimated to cost $7.6 million which will be cost shared between the Corps and the city of Sheridan with the Corps’ share projected at $5.7 million and the city of Sheridan’s share projected at $1.9 million, which will be offset by in-kind work and city-owned land.
Release no. 19-069