US Army Corps of Engineers
Detroit District Website

Public Notice Manager

Honey Creek Ecosystem Restoration Project Draft Integrated Feasiblity Study and Environmental Assessment

United States Army Corps Of Engineers, Detroit and Chicago Districts
Published May 28, 2021
Expiration date: 6/28/2021

TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, PUBLIC GROUPS, AND CITIZENS

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit and Chicago Districts have completed a draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (IFR/EA) addressing a proposed aquatic restoration project on Honey Creek in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. This document was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended.

The Honey Creek study area extends from the outlet of Honey Creek to the Menomonee River, upstream to the utility crossing near the Wisconsin Lutheran High School (approximately 1,600 feet downstream of the culverts north of Interstate 94 at 84th Street and O’Connor Avenue). Much of this reach, approximately 6,700 linear feet, consists of a concrete channel that was installed as part of a flood reduction project built by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Milwaukee County in the 1960’s. The remainder of the study area, approximately 2,600 linear feet, consists of natural substrates that provides some habitat value, but is experiencing bank erosion.

The propose project would restore a sustainable and connected riverine and riparian habitat in the study area. The proposed project includes:

Removing approximately 6,700 linear feet of concrete from Honey Creek

Stream channel contouring to incorporate a diversity of aquatic habitats including persistent marsh and transitional meadow

Restoring the Honey Creek stream channel with natural riverine substrates of sand, gravel, and cobble

Restore instream habitat diversity and hydraulics with addition of woody debris, riffles, and j-hooks

Removing invasive and non-native trees, shrubs, grasses, and forbs

Placing soil amendments of organic compost, sand, silt, or woodchips for native riparian woodland plantings

As part of the draft IFR/EA and in accordance with the NEPA, the USACE has assessed the potential impacts associated with implementing the proposed action. The draft environmental assessment concludes that: 1) there are no significant short-term, long-term, or cumulative adverse environmental effects associated with implementing the proposed action; 2) the project benefits outweigh minor temporary impacts, primarily short-term noise and air emissions from construction activities; and 3) the proposed action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

The draft IFR/EA includes the USACE effects determination pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Any person who has an historical or cultural interest that may be affected by the proposed action may submit comments regarding the effects determination. The comments must be submitted in writing within the comment period of this notice (as described below) and must clearly state what historical or cultural interest may be affected by this activity.

The draft IFR/EA includes a Section 404(b)(1) evaluation, pursuant to the Clean Water Act, for fill placement into the waters of the United States as part of the proposed action. Any person who has an interest that may be affected by the proposed in-water placement of fill material may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing within the comment period of this notice and must set forth the interest and manner the interest may be directly affected by this activity.

The proposed action is within the coastal zone as defined by the State of Wisconsin. The USACE has determined that the proposed action would be undertaken in a manner consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Currently, the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program is taking comments on impacts to coastal resources and the state’s identified enforceable policies as they relate to the proposed action. More information can be found at https://coastal.wisconsin.gov. Comments may be sent to coastal@wisconsin.gov or Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, P.O. Box 8944, Madison, WI 53708-8944.

The proposed action is in the floodplain of Honey Creek but complies with the Federal Executive Order on Floodplain Management (E.O. 11988) because it would not encourage floodplain development nor induce flooding, and there is no practicable alternative outside the floodplain for restoring the aquatic ecosystem of Honey Creek.

The draft IFR/EA is available online at the following webpage: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/ under the category "Other Public Notices" in the lower left of the page. Any comments you may have concerning the proposed project should be made within thirty (30) days from the receipt of this letter. If no comments are received by the end of the thirty (30) day review period, it will be assumed that you have no comment. Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, the USACE is requesting that comments be submitted electronically to HoneyCreek@usace.army.mil.

Following the comment period and review of the comments received, the USACE Detroit District Engineer will make a final decision regarding the necessity of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed action. Based on the preliminary conclusions of the draft IFR/EA, it appears that preparation of an EIS will not be required; therefore, a preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact has been included with the draft IFR/EA.

Sincerely,

Nick Zager P.E.

Chief, Planning Office