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Corps seeks public comment on Draft Project Implementation Report, Little Sioux Bend shallow water habitat restoration project.

Published May 3, 2013
An aerial view of the Little Sioux Bend MRRP site

An aerial view of the Little Sioux Bend MRRP site

OMAHA, Neb. – A draft Project Implementation Report for the creation of new Shallow Water Habitat on the Little Sioux Bend of the Missouri River is currently available for public review.

The draft PIR provides details of the Corps’ planning process in reaching a proposal to construct SWH on the Little Sioux Bend near the town of Little Sioux, Iowa directly downstream of the Little Sioux River between river miles 668.3 – 666.7. 

This draft PIR is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), the Corps’ regulations for implementing NEPA (33 CFR 325 and Engineering Regulation 200-2-2) and other applicable environmental laws and regulations. 

BACKGROUND: The proposed project consists of excavating approximately 400,000 cubic yards of silty sand to create a 7,300-foot long flow through chute that is connected to the main channel of the Missouri River on the upstream and downstream ends. The chute would be excavated to a width of approximately 70 feet and the inlet structure would be 150-feet wide. This would allow the 70-foot wide pilot channel to widen through natural river processes to an ultimate width that is roughly the same as that of the inlet (150 feet).  

The project would initially create approximately 19 acres of SWH with the potential of creating up to a total of 33 acres once the chute reaches its desired ultimate width of 150 feet. Other primary project features include intermediate river connections, large woody debris structures, and the extension of five existing dikes riverward to maintain adequate navigation depths. The project would be constructed entirely within a 190-acre parcel of Corps-owned land.

This project would be constructed in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s amended Biological Opinion for the Operation of the Missouri River Main Stem Reservoir System, Operation and Maintenance of the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project, and Operation of the Kansas River Reservoir System. Part of this BiOp includes the requirement to restore 20 percent of the SWH which existed prior to the construction of the Missouri River BSNP to benefit the endangered pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.  

The public is encouraged to provide comments on the draft PIR. The draft PIR and corresponding Public Notice are available for viewing at: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/EnvironmentalPlanning/DraftDocuments.aspx. Comments can be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC; ATTN: Little Sioux Bend PIR; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments can also be emailed to: cenwo-planning@usace.army.mil. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than June 2, 2013.

Maggie Oldham

Release no. 20130503-001