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Draft Project Implementation Report for shallow water habitat creation at Wilson Island State Recreation Area and DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge available for public comment

Published Aug. 1, 2013

OMAHA, Neb. – A draft Project Implementation Report with Integrated Environmental Assessment and Section 404(b)(1) Water Quality Evaluation for shallow water habitat creation at Wilson Island State Recreation Area in Pottawattamie County, Iowa and at DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge in Harrison County, Iowa is currently available for public review. Approximately 67 acres of shallow water habitat will be created during this project.

This draft report 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 first part of the project would include enhancement of an existing backwater at the Wilson Island State Recreation Area. This area, south of DeSoto Lake, was connected to the river as a backwater until high flow in 1984 closed it off with sediment. The backwater’s connectivity to the Missouri River, and thus its value as shallow water habitat, has been lost except during extreme flood events such as the 2011 flood. Work on this portion of the project would include excavating 910,000 cubic yards of material, deepening three wintering holes, cutting gentle slopes, and using 11,000 tons of stone to anchor woody debris habitat structures and construct a dike structure to slow the rate of sedimentation at the mouth of the backwater. The result will be the creation of 50 acres of shallow water habitat.   

The second part of the proposed project includes creation of an additional backwater on the DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge. The site currently consists of a depressed swale with minimal non-connected wetted areas at normal flows. Approximately 240,000 cubic yards of material from the existing swale would be dredged, large woody debris habitat features would be placed and a sediment control structure at the backwater entrance would be constructed using 8,000 tons of stone. This would result in a 2,400-foot long, 17-acre backwater. 

The public is encouraged to provide comments on the draft Project Implementation Report which is available for viewing at: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/EnvironmentalPlanning/DraftDocuments.aspx.

Comments may be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC; ATTN: Dave Crane, Wilson-DeSoto EA; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments may also be emailed to: cenwo-planning@usace.army.mil. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than September 1, 2013.

Omaha District Public Affairs
Dave Crane

Release no. 20130801-001