Ft. Bend Mitigation Wetland Delineation and Feasibility Analysis

EcoGENESIS Principal and subcontract staff provided expert wetland delineation services and field analysis for a +2,013 acre wetland and stream mitigation project in Ft. Bend County, Texas.   Services provided include guiding EcoSystem Renewal staff in USACE field delineation methods, hydric soil analysis, plant identification, and submeter GPS locating of the wetland boundary based on USACE hydrology, vegetation and hydric soils criteria.  EcoGENESIS also provided report templates, USACE wetland field sheet preparation and review, and wetland delineation report review and quality assurance services prior to submittal to the USACE.  EcoGENESIS is continuing to provide project management services while under review by the USACE.  EcoGENESIS is also coordinating the feasibility review of the site with a stream restoration subconsultant to determine feasibility and most cost-effective approaches to stream restoration of two modified, and deeply incised headwater stream tributaries of Cow Creek that occur on the site.  EcoGENESIS is also providing preliminary wetland credit calculations and support to the client in proforma preparation.

Zachary Mitigation Bank 2015 Monitoring & Reporting Services

EcoGENESIS is providing Senior Scientist assistance and support to client staff in field sampling, quality assurance, and monitoring of the Zachary Mitigation Bank restoration sites.   This project includes the monitoring of three restoration sites under the current Umbrella Instrument.  EcoGENESIS is assisting client staff by providing contract biologist data management and data entry services for vegetative, soil, hydrologic indicator monitoring data and photo documentation recorded at the various sites.  EcoGENESIS is providing Sr. Scientist oversight for report and deliverable review and staff training services to ensure that the reports and any credit release requests prepared by the client’s staff meet the reporting requirements of the Umbrella MBI.

Subcontracted Compliance Consulting

A prime consulting firm requested the assistance of EcoGENESIS in providing compliance and permitting assistance and consulting services to address a compliance letter for the Prime’s client.  Services provided included a preliminary evaluation of the current Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Permit to determine the feasibility to re-locate on-site mitigation on the mine property that is not meeting permitted success criteria to an offsite mitigation area on state lands that ecoGENESIS’ Principal permitted while working for the Prime.  EcoGENESIS is providing services to assist the Prime in addressing mitigation compliance issues on the mine site.  EcoGENESIS reviewed past project information and identified any additional information needed to determine what remaining on-site mitigation could feasibly be offset by the wetland mitigation on the T.G. Lee Tract.  EcoGenesis is performing a review of the previous UMAM analysis permitting the T.G. Lee tract to determine the amount of potential surplus mitigation available and determining the amount of mitigation offset needed to re-locate remaining on-site mitigation offsite to the T.G. Lee Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest.  EcoGENESIS also assisted and coordinated with the project engineer in developing an effective strategy and response to the FDEP non-compliance letter, as well as providing assistance as needed in developing an effective mitigation strategy for the client in addressing mitigation compliance issues.

Preliminary Feasibility Site Review

EcoGENESIS is performing preliminary feasibility field and GIS desk-top reviews and analysis of multiple properties located within the Chenier ridge/coastal plain complex in southwestern Louisiana. These lands are under consideration as a potential wetland and/or stream mitigation bank(s) or permittee-responsible mitigation area(s), or for other ecological commodity credit trading purposes. Analysis of these lands requires GIS desktop review and feasibility consulting support services, items and limited deliverable products to effectively determine which parcels warrant a full feasibility evaluation, and to begin the development process for a wetland and stream mitigation bank on the prospective property.   The analyses include initial risk assessments to identify those factors that may make sites inappropriate or carry higher risk to develop for wetland and stream mitigation, habitat/species conservation banking, water quality/nutrient, carbon, other ecological commodity investment purposes.  Analysis may also include evaluation of properties for other development purposes.

Shreveport Mitigation Bank Replanting, Year One Monitoring

EcoGENESIS and their subcontracted technical staff are providing services related to all aspects of the monitoring and reporting required by the USACE mitigation permit, including vegetative and hydrological data collection, water level gauge maintenance, and agency coordination. EcoGENESIS’ responsibilities include project management, agency coordination, wetland mitigation monitoring, and reporting services for this 240 acre bottom-land hardwood wetland mitigation bank near Shreveport, Louisiana.  The site was constructed and planted in 2011.  While hydrology was documented as re-establishing, the seedlings were adversely affected by the record drought of 2011 and the majority of the plantings perished.  The site was replanted in February of 2012.  The monitoring for this project was completed in April of 2014.  Preliminary results indicate that the site will meet the initial survival performance measures and will result in the re-establishment of high-quality and diverse bottom-land hardwood, as well as cypress floodplain wetland habitat along Red Chute Bayou.

Zachary Mitigation Bank, Multiple Restoration Sites, Project Manager

Ms. Fetterman provided project management and design services for this approximately 500 acre mitigation banking project consisting of several sites permitted under an Umbrella mitigation banking instrument (MBI).  Ms. Fetterman was responsible for managing all aspects of the project from the initial feasibility analysis, market analysis, and prospectus development to federal/state agency permitting, Wetland Value Assessment (WVA) and Modified Charleston Method (MCM) wetland functional assessment analysis, restoration plan formulation, construction oversight, monitoring and long-term site management. This bank is a bottomland hardwood restoration project on prior-converted improved pasture lands.  As the project manager, Ms. Fetterman was also responsible for formulating detailed ecological and hydrological restoration plans for each site addendum to the MBI.  This project required detailed GIS assessment and analysis of surrounding land use and impacts of surrounding land use within 50 and 500 feet of each restoration site’s boundaries as part of the Wetland Value Assessment (WVA) method utilized to calculate total bank credits for several of the restoration sites.   Ms. Fetterman was critical to successfully obtaining the signed umbrella mitigation banking instrument and approved restoration plan for four sites:  Copper Mill Bayou, Comite Flats I, Comite Flats II and Redwood Creek.  Ms. Fetterman also provided bank implementation and management, monitoring, and as-built documentation and credit release services for these sites.  Through her effective working relationship with the USACE New Orleans District, Ms. Fetterman successfully and expeditiously obtained credit releases for all permitted sites.

Missouri Loop Mitigation Bank, Project Manager

Ms. Fetterman was the Project Manager for this 302 acre, phased, mitigation bank re-establishing historic bottom-land hardwood floodplain forest on prior-converted row crop lands.   As with the other projects listed above, Ms. Fetterman was responsible for all aspects of project management from initial feasibility analysis through permitting, to construction oversight and monitoring and long term management through to bank closure.  Ms. Fetterman formulated the wetland restoration plan for this site and successfully coordinated permitting activities with her previous firm’s engineers to obtain an approved MBI for the site.  Ms. Fetterman successfully coordinated construction and planting of the first 163 acre phase in March 2010.  She is also working with the neighboring National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to create contiguous, high quality wetland habitat for migrating water fowl as well as endangered mammals such as the Louisiana black bear that are known to utilize the bank and NWR area.   Ms. Fetterman also provided baseline monitoring and bank management services post-construction and planting.

Shreveport Mitigation Bank, Project Manager

Ms. Fetterman was the Project Manager for this 290 acre bank along Red Chute Bayou near Bossier City, Louisiana.  Ms. Fetterman completed the MBI permitting process for the site.  Ms. Fetterman managed and coordinated the project from the initial feasibility and site data collection stages to the wetland jurisdictional verification phase and clear through to MBI approval from all participating IRT agencies.  Ms. Fetterman also provided construction management and planting contractor management services.    As with all other large-scale wetland restoration projects, coordination with adjacent landowners, federal, state and local government agencies is required to obtain all necessary approvals in a timely manner.  Ms. Fetterman, working in tandem with her former firm’s engineering department, formulated the restoration plan for this bank, which includes a hydrologic and vegetative restoration plan that is resulting in the enhancement of existing cypress-tupelo and bottomland hardwood remnant depressional areas, and restoration of wetland depressional, floodplain flats and natural levee bottomland hardwood communities.  The restoration plan involved a cascading hydrologic design that included rehabilitation of a highly eroded surface water conveyance that provides one of the only remaining connections between the dredged Red Chute Bayou and its historic floodplain.  This complex hydrologic design will result in the-establishment of wetland hydroperiod durations and stages conducive to the forested wetland communities restored, and effective hydrologic reconnection to Red Chute Bayou allowing for attenuation and storage of flood events; yet also abate highly damaging erosion during flooding of the site via this surface water conveyance to Red Chute Bayou.

Gulf Coastal Plains Mitigation Bank, Project Manager

Ms. Fetterman initially provided senior technical and permitting oversight services of the Ecosystem Renewal subcontracted consultant for this + 1,900 acre herbaceous freshwater, intermediate brackish and saltwater mitigation bank.  Ms. Fetterman became project manager after her previous firm assumed the project.    Ms. Fetterman completed the permitting of the project and coordinated closely with federal and state agencies and the surrounding NWR to re-design a phased restoration plan for this prior-converted rice farm enclosed by levees.  The banking project also incorporates the re-establishment of tidal channels and pools re-connecting the bank to the major Bayous forming the eastern and western property boundaries. The tidal network will also facilitate the restoration of high and low brackish and intermediate marsh to the southern section of the bank historically within salt marsh hydric soils.  The bank will re-establish historic coastal prairie and freshwater marsh wetlands and drainage features in the northern portion that existed prior to agricultural conversion.  The bank will provide essential fish and invertebrate nursery habitat.   Ms. Fetterman’s competency with this project in addressing agency concerns and in facilitating consensus-building between members of a large, multi-faceted federal and state inter-agency review team resulted in her previous firm assuming all project management and restoration design responsibilities.

Bayou Chevreuil Mitigation Bank, Project Manager

Ms. Fetterman provided complete project management for this roughly 3,700 acre cypress-tupelo mitigation bank.  Services rendered by Ms. Fetterman include: prospectus development and federal/state agency permitting support, functional assessment analysis, construction oversight, monitoring and long-term site management.  This project is hydrologically complicated, and required extensive historic aerial analysis and mapping of canopy openings to document tree mortality over time and system failure as a result of over-inundation, subsidence and impoundment from spoil disposal and levees.  Ms. Fetterman was instrumental in formulating an innovative hydrologic and vegetative restoration plan, as well as an accompanying monitoring plan requiring sediment accretion analysis, micro-site monitoring for natural recruitment, and more extensive vegetative and hydrologic monitoring to determine system response to proposed mitigation treatments beyond those typically required for mitigation monitoring requirements. Ms. Fetterman was fortunate to work with Dr. John Day, Professor Emeritus of LSU and Dr. William Conner of the Baruch Wetland Institute as part of this project.

Turtle Bayou Mitigation Bank, Project Manager

Ms. Fetterman provided project management and permitting oversight for establishing a 277 acre, multi-phase bottomland hardwood and cypress-tupelo mitigation bank near Alexandria, Louisiana.  This site in 1952 was bottomland hardwood floodplain forest within the alluvial plain of the Red River.  This now prior-converted rice farm will be re-established as floodplain forested wetland over a series of successive phases.  The hydrologic design will result in re-establishment and restoration of two perennial streams and sloughs that previously drained through the site before the site was converted.  The project will provide valuable, additional stepping-stone habitat along Bayou Beouf for the movement of the endangered Louisiana Black Bear between areas of designated critical habitat within the proposed service area of the bank to the east, west, north and south.  Ms. Fetterman to date has provided feasibility and preliminary credit analysis, site data collection, and oversight of permitting products services. A draft MBI is currently under USACE and IRT agency review and comment.

Acadian-Haynesville Pipeline Offsite Mitigation Project, Project Manager

Ms. Fetterman provided project management, WVA functional assessment analysis and senior technical oversight services for the permitting of this 170-acre permittee-responsible offsite bottomland hardwood mitigation project compensating for bottomland hardwood and cypress-tupelo wetland losses associated with the construction of an interstate pipeline.  This 277 acre site, also located in Rapides Parish and directly adjacent to the Central Louisiana Mitigation Bank Project, was an extremely time-sensitive project requiring a 2 week turnaround.  Ms. Fetterman effectively coordinated senior ecological and engineering staff from her previous firm to produce a complete mitigation work plan to the client to enable them to submit their permit application prior to changes in New Orleans District functional assessment policy and complete timely public noticing of the project.

Mid-Coast Aggregates Withlacoochee State Forest T.G. Lee Tract Offsite Mitigation Area, Senior Scientist

Ms. Fetterman provided permitting and project oversight for restoration and mitigation design of a 25-acre offsite mitigation area located on state forest managed lands.  By working closely with the state forestry management and technical staff, she facilitated a win-win restoration project that will result in the hydrologic and vegetative re-establishment and enhancement of historic freshwater marsh and wet prairie wetlands.  The restoration will return to the site the historic mesic flatwoods and wetland complex that existed prior to ditching and draining of the site and conversion to improved pasture in the 1960s and 70s.  Ms. Fetterman successfully completed the DEP and USACE permitting process on behalf of the client.

Mitigation Banking, Program Manager

EcoGENESIS is currently providing program management services for a mitigation banking client with holdings in Louisiana and Texas.  Responsibilities include selection and management of contracted services for bank permitting and operation, feasibility analysis and review for new banking projects, and providing as-needed management and monitoring services.  EcoGENESIS also provides project management oversight and mentoring to the client’s staff biologists and scientists.

Gulf Coastal Wetland Mitigation Bank, Phase I Construction Management

EcoGENESIS is providing services for the establishment of an on-site propagation area, and technical direction and construction management of the 465 acre first phase of this + 1,800 acre tidal marsh and freshwater coastal prairie wetland mitigation bank in East Chambers County, Texas.  EcoGENESIS will also provide baseline monitoring and as-built reporting services.  EcoGENESIS’ responsibilities include project management, agency and contractor coordination and oversight, and preparation of a propagation plan and as-built report as project deliverables.  EcoGENESIS is working closely with the client’s staff in the implementation of this pioneering wetland restoration project in the USACE Galveston District.

Grand Lakes Mitigation Area Feasibility & Permitting Services

EcoGENESIS is providing subcontracted technical services and contract management and supervision for a mitigation holdings company in Louisiana. EcoGENESIS’ services include feasibility evaluation, subcontractor oversight, and permitting services for this +271 acre site.   The deliverables for this project will consist of feasibility analysis and evalution, MCM credit evaluations and a mitigation work plan should the site be utilized for permitee-responsible wetland mitigation to offset USACE jurisdictional impacts or developed as a wetland mitigation bank.

Big Darbonne Bayou, Phase I Wetland Mitigation Bank Permitting

EcoGENESIS is providing subcontracted technical services to a consulting company in Louisiana for the establishment and permitting of this +145 acre bottom-land hardwood restoration site located within the West Atchafalaya Basin Floodway in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.  EcoGENESIS’ responsibilities include project management, agency coordination, and preparation of the Mitigation Work Plan, technical sections and attachments of the Mitigation Banking Instrument (MBI), data collection, restoration design, mitigation and existing wetland functional analysis, and Section 404 permitting for enhancement activities within wetlands and waters of the United States.  EcoGENESIS is working closely with the United States Army Corps (USACE) New Orleans District and a primary consultant to permit this restoration project.

Mitigation Bank Permitting, Project Management

EcoGENESIS brings its experience and expertise to bear on this project involving  project management and regulatory liaison services for a  + 1300 acre, multi-phased mitigation bank in Hendry County, Florida.  The bank will be converting citrus grove back into historically occurring wetland habitats such as hydric pine flatwoods, wet prairie, freshwater marsh, pond cypress, and mixed hardwood wetlands.  EcoGENESIS is managing and coordinating the environmental and engineering consultants to achieve effective and timely results and submittals in order to complete the permitting process.  EcoGENESIS is also acting as an authorized agent on behalf of the client in negotiation with the agencies in order to successfully complete both the SFWMD and the Federal USACE permitting process.

Missouri Loop Mitigation Bank, Phase 1 – Year 3 Monitoring & Reporting

EcoGENESIS  provided project management, agency coordination, and wetland mitigation monitoring and reporting services for the first Phase of this 303 acre total, wetland mitigation bank near Monroe, Louisiana.  The first phase of the site was constructed and planted in 2010, and will result in the re-establishment of bottom-land hardwood and cypress tupelo wetlands. EcoGENESIS and their subcontracted technical staff provided services related to all aspects of the monitoring and reporting required by the USACE MBI, including hydrological data collection and water level gage maintenance.

Water Level Gage Monitoring & Maintenance

EcoGENESIS and subcontracted technical staff are providing support services for data collection and maintenance of Remote Data Systems (RDS) surface water gage installed on all the client’s operating turn-key and mitigation banking sites in Louisiana and Texas.  Services also include installation of gages at new mitigation banks sites and decommissioning and re-deployment of gages at sites that have demonstrated attainment of quantitative hydrologic criteria per the USACE permit(s) or Mitigation Banking Instrument(s) (MBIs).  At the conclusion of each semi-annual event, a spreadsheet for all operating gauges is updated and provided to the client.

Spindletop Bayou Mitigation Area Wetland Delineation & Current Conditions Assessment

EcoGENESIS provided project management, wetland delineation, and agency coordination services with the USACE Galveston District for this + 400 acre potential bottom-land hardwood and stream mitigation site in eastern Texas.  This site contains relict, natural floodplain features of ancient Trinity River channel and is hydrologically complex as well as highly managed for agricultural production.  Prior-converted (PC) fields, existing forested wetland areas and former improved pasture recently converted back into row-crop production and consequently not recognized as prior-converted by the USACE are located on the site, creating a complex delineation scenario that required wetland delineation and hydric soils expertise.  Services also included functionally assessing existing forested wetlands using the Galveston District interim Riverine Forested Hydrogeomorphic Method (HGM) for mitigation bank permitting purposes.  EcoGENESIS successfully obtained an approved jurisdictional determination for the project from the Galveston District USACE.

Central Louisiana Mitigation Area, Year 1 Monitoring & Reporting

EcoGENESIS and their subcontracted technical staff provided services related to all aspects of the monitoring and reporting required by the USACE permit, including vegetative and hydrological data collection and water level gage maintenance and agency coordination. EcoGENESIS’ responsibilities included project management, agency coordination and wetland mitigation monitoring and reporting services for this 170-acre permittee-responsible mitigation site near Alexandria, Louisiana.  The site was constructed and planted in 2012, and will result in the re-establishment of bottomland hardwood and cypress slough wetlands.