Enclosure C: Description of Aquatic Habitat (West Branch of

advertisement
Environmental Assessment Form
ENCLOSURE C
Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
Clearfield County
Greenwood Township
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
I. Bell’s Landing Bridge Replacement Site
Overview & Project Setting
The West Branch Susquehanna River basin, as a whole, and the immediate
project area contain some of the most scenic forestland in Pennsylvania. The
area is dominated by public state game lands, with a few small urban centers
scattered up and down the stream.
The West Branch watershed, which is home to three distinct eco-regions
(Northern Appalachian Plateau Uplands, North Central Appalachians, and
Central Appalachian Ridges and Valleys), is a valuable aquatic resource situated
in the Commonwealth's interior. It has tremendous potential to provide a variety
of outdoor recreational opportunities - at least this is what would be available if it
were not for the pollution left behind from historic, unregulated coal mining
activities that once provided a boon to local industry and economies.
Unfortunately, the legacy that remains today is in the form of Acid Mind Drainage
(AMD), which is the source for 94% of the West Branch's pollution. Nearly eighthundred miles of streams within the West Branch have been rendered essentially
lifeless due to toxic concentrations of metals and acidity from the AMD.
A.
Aquatic Habitats
1.
Food Chain Production in Project Vicinity
General habitat for nesting, spawning, rearing, resting, migration,
feeding, and escape cover is minimal, but improving, according to
the PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). Smallmouth bass and
a variety of other game fish occupy the river in the project area. The
PFBC, Trout Unlimited, PA Department of Environmental Protection
(PA DEP), and PA Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources (PADCNR) all have worked cooperatively to create
projects geared toward improving the aquatic environment and its
use for canoeing and fishing.
2.
General Habitat
The West Branch of the Susquehanna has improved in the project
area due to upstream restoration.
The potential for fishery restoration on all AMD impacted streams
throughout the West Branch watershed is possible due to the fact
that each stream, upstream from the project area, has been
Page 2 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
assessed as a potential trout-stocking, high quality coldwater
fishery, or an exceptional value stream.
Water quality degradation is the only source of impairment
throughout most of the West Branch watershed and the physical
stream habitat is already in relatively good condition in the project
vicinity. Continual, successful restoration efforts of the West Branch
have yielded positive economic and ecological benefits that, in turn,
will translate into a better way of life for the local communities and
improved aquatic resources.
The PFBC shares restoration, water quality, and recreation attribute
information on the West Branch by river mile (RM): Mouth of Chest
Creek to mouth of Clearfield Creek RM 171.9: Water quality
marginally improves; somewhat more fish. Fishable smallmouth
bass habitats continue to improve in the Curwensville to Bell’s
Landing area.
a. Nesting: The West Branch of the Susquehanna River consists of
several pool and riffle areas. A pool area is present under the
proposed bridge replacement. Nesting in these areas does
occur. In early June 2006, several smallmouth bass nests could
be seen both up and down steam in the vicinity of the proposed
bridge location.
The proposed structure will be relocated to a downstream
position. This new location is a riffle area similar to the stream
bottom conditions of the existing bridge. Some nesting may or
may not take place in this area, due to the size of the stream and
the fact that it is intermittent in some years. Given the small size,
minimal nesting of terrestrial species exists in Wetland #1 (0.10
ac.) and Wetland #2 (0.06 ac.)
b. Spawning: Consistent with statement (2a), spawning in the
general area has been documented during field visits to the West
Branch of the Susquehanna. Limited spawning could occur in
the wetland.
c. Rearing: Consistent with the previous two statements, rearing
in the general area is likely and has been documented during
field visits to the site. Some rearing of terrestrial species exists
within the wetland area.
d. Resting: Because the section of stream under the bridge is a
pool area, some resting in the aquatic habitat may take place.
Page 3 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
This area will be reclaimed when the bridge is shifted
downstream. Some resting of terrestrial species exists within
the wetland.
e. Migration: Migration within the proposed project area by either
aquatic or terrestrial habitat most likely exists to some extent.
The small wetland could serve as a protective pathway for
animals such as birds, deer, and small mammals to migrate
between the upland habitat and the stream habitat. This is most
likely minimal due to the limited size and location of the wetland
area.
f. Feeding: Limited feeding for aquatic organisms may take place
in the general area.
g. Escape Cover: Escape cover exists in the general area of the
project. Some overhanging vegetation, trees and rocks, and
undercut banks provide escape cover for the local aquatic
habitat. Escape cover areas within the project area wetlands
consist of an undergrowth of several herbaceous plant species,
tree species, and buttressed root systems.
h. Other: No other aquatic or terrestrial habitats were identified at
the proposed project area.
3.
Threatened & Endangered Species
A Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) search was
performed on the project area. No occurrences of endangered
species were located in the project vicinity. The PNDI is attached
to the Level 2 Categorical Exclusion Evaluation.
4.
Environmental Study Areas
No environmental study areas are present. No wildlife sanctuaries
are present.
B.
Water Quantity & Stream Flow
The river of concern is part of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
flood storage area for the Curwensville Dam.
1.
Natural Drainage Patterns: The West Branch of the
Susquehanna, a perennial stream, flows in a generally north to
northeast direction. Within the project area, the river would be
Page 4 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
classified as straight. The overall pattern of the stream can be
described as sinuous. The stream outlets into the Curwensville
Dam several miles from the bridge.
2.
Flushing Characteristics: The West Branch of the Susquehanna
River is a flowing perennial stream with surrounding rolling hills.
Alluvial soils exist in these areas. There are no distinguishing
flushing characteristics associated with the stream within the
project area. However, it should be noted that the stream has
topped its banks several times in the past six months and therefore
has been flushed recently. It also provides flood control and is then
drained off by USACE control over the Curwensville Dam.
A hydraulic analysis was performed in U.S. Customary Units using
the USACE program HEC-RAS version 3.1.3.
Computed Velocities
Table 1 - The computed existing and proposed velocities for the West
Branch of the Susquehanna River.
Stream Section
100
200
300
Proposed Bridge
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
Existing Bridge
1099
1200
1300
1400
1500
1600
1700
1800
1900
Table 1 – 100 Year Flood Velocities
Q100 Velocity
Q100 Velocity
Velocity Change
Existing
Proposed
(ft)
15.70
15.56
-0.14
13.40
13.69
+0.29
14.12
11.6
-2.52
12.46
11.95
12.24
10.55
11.00
11.33
12.08
10.8
11.56
11.97
10.37
10.52
10.39
10.87
-1.66
-0.39
-0.27
-0.18
-0.48
+0.06
+0.79
11.98
10.37
10.23
10.31
10.64
10.39
10.47
10.18
10.07
10.16
10.42
10.28
10.36
10.70
10.43
10.51
10.22
10.11
-1.82
+0.05
+0.05
+0.05
+0.06
+0.04
+0.04
+0.04
+0.04
Page 5 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
2000
10.29
10.15
-0.14
3.
Current Patterns: The current flow patterns of the West Branch of
the Susquehanna are in a north to northeast direction and no
evidence exists that would suggest current pattern changes.
Overall, the stream within the project area can be described as
linear, 50 feet wide, medium gradient with a gravel and cobble
bottom. The stream possesses average habitat diversity
4.
Groundwater Discharge for Baseflow: It is assumed that some
groundwater discharge naturally occurs in the West Branch of the
Susquehanna and Wetlands #1 and #2.
Table 2 - The computed backwater elevations for existing and proposed conditions
for the 100 year flood, ignoring the Curwensville Dam:
Stream Section
100
200
300
Proposed Bridge
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
Existing Bridge
1100
1200
1300
1400
1500
1600
1700
1800
1900
2000
Table 2 – 100-Year Flood Elevations
Q100 W.S.
Q100 W.S.
Elevation Existing
Elevation
Proposed
1209.04
1209.04
1210.72
1210.51
1210.93
1211.90
Elevation Change
(ft)
0.00
-0.21
-0.03
1212.04
1212.33
1212.35
1213.07
1213.03
1213.02
1212.96
1212.75
1212.7
1212.67
1213.33
1213.35
1213.46
1213.42
+0.71
+0.37
+0.32
+0.26
+0.32
+0.44
-0.54
1213.04
1213.83
1213.91
1213.97
1213.95
1214.07
1214.10
1214.38
1214.58
1214.72
1213.70
1213.78
1213.87
1213.92
1213.90
1214.02
1214.06
1214.34
1214.55
1214.72
+0.66
-0.05
-0.04
-0.05
-0.05
-0.05
-0.04
-0.04
-0.03
-0.00
Page 6 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
5.
Natural Recharge Areas for Ground/Surface Water: Minor
seeps or springs exist within the proposed project area. One of
these springs outlets into Wetland #1.
6.
Storm/Flood Water Storage and Control: In the area of the
proposed project, the West Branch of the Susquehanna is prone to
flooding. The floodplain areas surrounding the bridge provide
storage and control for flood waters.
Table 3 - Flood flow discharges for the West Branch of the Susquehanna
River at the current bridge crossing.
Q2
Q5
Q10
Q25
Q50
Q100
C.
Table 3 – Flood Flow Discharge (cfs)
USGS Flow
Flow, cfs
(2.7 mi Upstream)
(at S.R. 3005)
(Drainage Area = 315 sq
(Drainage Area = 334.21 sq
mi)
mi)
7,798.0
8,187.9
11,280.0
11.844
13,990.0
14,689.5
17,920.0
18,816
21,230.0
22,291.5
24,900.0
26,145
Water Quality
1.
Preventing Pollution: No pollution prevention devices are located
within the proposed project area.
2.
Sedimentation Control and Patterns: Vegetation and naturally
occurring rock deposits aid in sedimentation control. An Erosion
and Sedimentation (E&S) Control Plan will be developed for the
proposed project. The Clearfield County Conservation District will
review and approve the plan.
3.
Salinity Distribution: The West Branch of the Susquehanna River
is assumed to be classified as a fresh warm water fishery (WWF)
classification. Brackish water is not associated with this resource.
4.
Natural Water Filtration: Two wetlands exist within the project
area. Both provide some water filtration for the West Branch of the
Susquehanna River. Surface runoff from S.R. 3005 also outlets into
Wetland #1 & 2.
Page 7 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
D.
Recreation (Fishing & Boating)
The river is conducive for good small watercrafts (canoe & kayaks). The West
Branch meanders through some of the most remote and diverse plant and animal
communities found in Pennsylvania. The area is part of a Water Trail system.
Users can be presented with multiple opportunities to witness some of the more
common species, and quite possibly some of the state's rarest ones, as well.
E.
1.
Game Species: Migratory birds (ducks, geese, and woodcock)
migrate along the waterway. The wetlands and water course are
also used for summer breeding areas.
2.
Non-Game Species: The river, riverbanks, and wetlands provide
food and cover for many non-game species, song birds, and
terrestrial species.
3.
Fishing: Though negatively impacted by past AMD, the river
continues to improve for small mouth bass and other species as a
warm water fishery.
4.
Hiking: Surrounding trails on game lands are used by hikers year
round.
5.
Observations (Plant/Wildlife): The stream banks and wetlands
provide opportunities for observations of flora and fauna.
6.
Other: Hunting in the State Game Lands is adjacent to the project
site.
Upstream and Downstream Properties
Property upstream and downstream of the project is owned and controlled
by the USACE. The PA Game Commission (PGC) operates and regulates
the use of the State Game Lands on these properties, however; the
primary function of the property remains flood impoundment/flood control
area.
F.
Other Environmental Factors
Wetland mitigation will take place off site as agreed upon by the
environmental agencies.
Page 8 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
II. McPherron Advanced Wetland Compensation Site
Overview & Project Setting
Realizing that the Bell’s Landing Bridge Replacement project would entail
wetland impacts that could not be mitigated on site, a plan to construct
replacement wetlands was developed for a property known as the McPherron
Property in Chest Township, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Natural and
disturbed wetlands are present on this site. Agricultural practices and
construction of a man-made impoundment (farm pond) are noted as being
causes of the disturbance. See the attached wetland report included in this
section of the Joint Permit Application for additional details.
A.
Aquatic Habitats
1.
Food Chain Production in Project Vicinity
The current project area consists of 4 acres of mixed wetland and
upland areas. See attached Wetland Delineation Report, Clearfield
County SGL 120, McPherron Advanced Wetland Compensation
Project for details. Plant species common to the area carex
species, barnyard grass, slender goldenrod; switch grass, big
bluestem, redtop, orchard grass and timothy. Each of these
species plays an important role in providing food and pollen
sources for insects and both large and small mammals.
2.
General Habitat
The combination of spring seeps, open water habitat, wetland
(palustrine emergent, palustrine scrub shrub, and palustrine
forested), and upland fringe areas all within a 4 acre site provides
good habitat for a variety of plants and animals.
Nesting: The switch grass patch is managed by the PA Game
Commission. Other herbs and sedge, and shrub species provide
nesting opportunities for red-winged blackbirds. Fringe areas
and snags in wetlands promote nesting opportunities for wood
duck, and a variety of woodpeckers. Nesting boxes provide
opportunities for wood duck. The on-site open water pond
provides opportunities for sunfish, bass, carp, and catfish
nesting.
Page 9 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
i.
Spawning: Spawning occurs in the pond. In late May bass
nests can be seen along the shore of the pond.
j.
Rearing: Aquatic plants provide rearing sites for pond fish.
Thick grasses, under story and forest canopy along the site
fringe provide opportunities for birds and other wildlife to rear
young. Wetland C was formed and is tome to a beaver colony.
k. Resting: Thick grasses and shrubs provide resting areas for a
variety of wildlife including roosting birds. Several deer beds
can be found in the grasses and under story around the fringe of
the 4 acre site.
Migration: Wetland and upper fringe area grass species
provide both food and cover for a variety of migrating waterfowl
and song birds.
l.
Feeding: Feeding for fish species occurs in the farm pond.
Wetland and upland plant species provide food for wildlife in
terms of seed, leaf material, and other browse for birds and
mammals alike.
m. Escape Cover: Escape cover is provided by orchard grasses,
timothy, switch grass, etc. Blackberry, raspberry, arrowood, and
European black adder all provide dense escape cover. No
other aquatic or terrestrial habitats are present.
3.
Threatened & Endangered Species
A Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) search was
performed on the project area. No occurrences of endangered
species were located in the project vicinity. The area could support
a stop-over for transient or migrating species.
4.
Environmental Study Areas
Through no environmental study areas or wildlife sanctuaries are
present; this area would be a good environmental education area
for use by individuals, schools, or conservation organizations.
B.
Water Quantity & Stream Flow
The hydrology of the pond is provided by a combination of ground water,
spring seeps, intermittent streams, perennial streams, and surface water
drainage.
Page 10 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
1.
C.
D.
Natural Drainage Patterns: The pond hydrology is provided by
seeps draining into the pond and by surface drainage. Seepage
through the pond dikes have created wet areas at the toe of the
slope along the dike. A stand pipe provides control over water
drainage to Wetland C.
2.
Flushing Characteristics: Not applicable.
3.
Current Patterns: Not Applicable
4.
Groundwater Discharge for Baseflow: Groundwater discharge
supports the hydrology for the pond. Some groundwater discharge
naturally occurs in the wetlands.
5.
Natural Recharge Areas for Ground/Surface Water: A seep or
spring supplies water to the pond while in turn provides hydrology
to other site wetlands.
6.
Storm/Flood Water Storage and Control: The wetlands all
provide storage and control for stormwater. The pond does also
but is limited to the standpipe that controls the water storage level.
Water Quality
1.
Preventing Pollution: No pollution prevention devices are located
within the proposed project area.
2.
Sedimentation Control and Patterns: Dense vegetation aids in
sedimentation control and runoff from farm fields and farm
equipment stored across the road.
3.
Salinity Distribution: Not applicable.
4.
Natural Water Filtration: Area wetlands provide water filtration for
a stream down gradient from the McPherron AWCS. Sediment
settles in the pond before it exits through the stand pipe into
Wetland C.
Recreation (Fishing & Boating)
1.
Game Species: Migratory birds (ducks, geese, and woodcock)
migrate along the waterway and utilize the pond and wetland for
food and cover. Hunting is permitted.
Page 11 of 12
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C – Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3005, Section A01
E.
2.
Non-Game Species: The wetlands and upland areas provide food
and cover for non-game species, song birds, and terrestrial
species.
3.
Fishing: The pond is used by some for recreational fishing.
4.
Hiking: There are no designated trails. Pathways are present
throughout the site.
5.
Observations (Plant/Wildlife): The pond and wetlands provide for
opportunities to observe flora and fauna.
6.
Other: Hunting is permissible on the property
Upstream and Downstream Properties
Farmland and woodlands surround the property.
F.
Other Environmental Factors
None.
Page 12 of 12
Download
Related flashcards
Water

33 Cards

Dairy products

15 Cards

Japanese cuisine

27 Cards

Agricultural gods

13 Cards

Create flashcards