Project Name: Sheridan Ecosystem Restoration Project
Location: Sheridan, Wyoming
Authority: Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986
Sponsor: City of Sheridan
Current Phase: Construction
The city of Sheridan (non-Federal sponsor) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Omaha District) are partnering on a project to improve aquatic, wetland and riparian habitat along Goose Creek and its two largest tributaries, Little Goose Creek and Big Goose Creek, in Sheridan, Wyoming.
In 1963, construction of the Sheridan flood control project was completed under the authority of the Flood Control Act of 1950. The project, designed to protect the city from Goose Creek and Little Goose Creek flood discharges, consists of levees, drainage structures, concrete chutes and drop structures, and channel alterations. Although the flood control project is operating as intended, the ecosystem in the vicinity of the project has become severely degraded.
There are several objectives for the project including (1) restoring stream and hydraulic function (including sediment transport and health) in a physical and ecological manner throughout the entire project area, (2) providing for fish passage and restoring in-stream habitat connectivity throughout the system, and (3) restoring wetland, riparian and floodplain habitats and connectivity with upstream and downstream reaches in the vicinity of the flood control system.
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 evaluate possible ecosystem restoration solutions along the creeks. The feasibility study is being conducted under Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 which allows the USACE to modify existing USACE projects for improvement of the environment. A public meeting to gather input on the study scope was held in Sheridan in April 2015. An additional public meeting to discuss preliminary alternatives was held in March 2017. The final feasibility report was completed November 2018.
Project Update: The Omaha District, in partnership with the city of Sheridan, solicitated bids in fall 2021 for the construction of an ecosystem restoration project along the Big Goose Creek, Little Goose Creek, and Goose Creek in Sheridan, WY. The recommended plan in the feasibility study included in-stream improvements and riparian restoration. Ecosystem restoration construction activities are planned along the Goose Creeks, Thorne-Rider Park, Sheltered Acres Park, Washington Park, and Mill Park for a total cost of $6.35M.
For the in-stream improvements, construction activities include adding structures such as rock riffles, j-hook structures, rock revetments, and boulder clusters which will provide habitat and shelter for fish and other aquatic organisms. Other in-stream improvements will be created in Mill Park by adding grouted drop structures that will reduce the existing gradient to drops of 0.4 feet across the entire length of the structure. This improvement will open a migratory pathway connection for fish.
The riparian improvements at Thorne-Rider Park, Sheltered Acres Park, and Washington Park include excavation, replacement of topsoil, plantings and adding a new drainage structure. These improvements are part of the wetlands and floodplain habitat restoration to increase connectivity of upstream and downstream reaches of the Goose Creeks. The recreation activities at Washington Park also include the construction of a 10-foot-wide concrete trail.
For more information, contact Project Manager, Rachel Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hanns Mercer with the City of Sheridan at 307-675-4237.