Rock Island District Public Notices

Blair Wetland Mitigation Bank (CEMVR-RD-2023-0865)

Rock Island District
Published July 14, 2023
Expiration date: 8/12/2023

Project Location: The proposed site is located approximately 4-miles west of Rockwell, Iowa and consists of five parcels within Section 29, Township 88 North, Range 33 West, Calhoun County, Iowa. See attached location maps. Latitude 42.242185, Longitude -94.432381.

Bank Objectives: The fundamental objective of compensatory mitigation is to offset environmental losses resulting from unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States (WOTUS) authorized by Department of the Army Permits. Other primary objectives include restoring hydrology and native vegetation to 91.03-acres of emergent wetland and establishing a tall grass prairie buffer in order to protect the restored wetlands.

Project Description/Bank Establishment:
A. The bank sponsor proposes to complete activities on 195.44-acres of property owned by the prospective bank manager (Brice Blair) and a private landowner. The bank sponsor has a purchase agreement with the private landowner that will be executed upon the approval of the Mitigation Banking Instrument (MBI). Mr. Blair and Mr. McCorkle will manage the bank site jointly, though, Mr. McCorkle will act as the sponsor and signatory for the project. Approximately 91.03-acres of emergent wetland will be restored, and 91.04-acres of tall grass prairie buffer established through this project, which will result in the generation of approximately 112.26 compensatory wetland mitigation credits.

B. The wetland mitigation work plan will focus on two wetlands, a main basin (Wetland 1) and a smaller basin to the north (Wetland 2). In both basins, existing drainage tile will first be plugged and/or removed. This will be followed by the construction of berms/embankments to prevent loss of hydrology. Several outlet control structures will also be constructed to provide the ability to drawdown each basin for maintenance purposes or to safely pass flood flows through each wetland.

C. Finally, each wetland will be revegetated with an emergent wetland seed mix and a wet/mesic prairie seed mix. Plant communities will be established using proven vegetative management techniques including herbicide treatments, mowing, inter-seeding, and periodic prescribed burning. Additional items including detailed hydrologic and hydraulic modeling as well as supplementary field tile investigations will be completed prior to the submission of the draft MBI.

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