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Draft Project Implementation Report for shallow water habitat creation at Indian Cave State Park 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 Indian Cave State Park in Richardson County, Nebraska is currently available for public review. Approximately 20 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 proposed project consists of excavating a 3,000-foot long backwater that would have a single connection to the Missouri River at the downstream end of the project area. The width of the backwater would vary from 50 feet near the inlet to approximately 350 feet in the larger of one of two lobes that would be located at the upstream end of the backwater. At the upstream end, two fishing access points would be constructed to allow anglers access to the deeper water. The steep slopes on the front of the access points would be stabilized with 2,000 tons of riprap to prevent bank sloughing. Approximately 5,000 tons of rock would be used to construct a structure on the upstream side of the inlet to the backwater area to help prevent the mouth of the backwater from rapidly filling with sediment.

Roughly 11 acres of the project area would be cleared of trees to facilitate construction. A portion of the trees cleared would be used to construct large woody debris structures which will be placed along the shore with the crowns of the trees extending into the backwater to provide aquatic habitat diversity and additional foraging habitat for fish species. Each structure will be anchored with rock to prevent them from floating away. Approximately 327,000 cubic yards of material would be excavated with a hydraulic dredge to construct the backwater, and the excavated material would be discharged into the thalweg of the Missouri River to become part of the bed load. 

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, Indian Cave 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. 20130801-002