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Underwood Creek, Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Project, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Posted: 9/11/2015

Expiration date: 10/11/2015

September 11, 2015




     The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District, has completed a Detailed Project Report (DPR) and Environmental Assessment (EA) addressing a proposed aquatic ecosystem restoration project on Underwood Creek in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.  The proposed project is being conducted under the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program, which is authorized by Section 506 of the Water Resources and Development Act of 2000, (P.L. 106-541). 


      The DPR and EA are available online:



Paper copies of the DPR and EA are available for viewing at the following locations:


Wauwatosa Public Library (reference desk)

7635 West North Avenue

Wauwatosa, Wisconsin,


Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)

260 West Seeboth Street

Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   


     The proposed action involves the removal of approximately 4400 linear feet of concrete lined channel along Underwood Creek to support the restoration of the fishery, the aquatic ecosystem, and aquatic habitat.  Improvements will result from the construction of a boulder and stone lined main channel with riffles and pools that will provide spawning habitat and fish passage to upstream areas that are currently blocked by the concrete channel lining and drop structures.  The project will provide access for fish from Lake Michigan and the Menomonee River into the lower 1.25 miles of Underwood Creek.  In the future, this connectivity is expected to extend into the upper reaches of Underwood Creek as the MMSD pursues removal of concrete drop structures that block fish passage into quality spawning habitats farther upstream.


     As part of the EA and in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the USACE has assessed the potential environmental impacts associated with implementing the proposed action.  The 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 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.


      Evaluation and public review of this USACE Section 506 Underwood Creek ecosystem restoration action, pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404(b)(1) guidelines, was completed by the USACE, St. Paul District Regulatory office (Permit # 2006-RMB-10) as part of the permit review for the MMSD’s Milwaukee County Grounds Floodwater Management Facility, which included the restoration reaches along Underwood Creek.  Therefore no separate Section 404(b)(1) Evaluation was prepared for this Section 506 project.  The MMSD will apply to the WDNR for a Wisconsin Chapter 30 permit, which also serves as the State water quality certification under Section 401 of the CWA.


     The proposed action is within the coastal zone as defined by the State of Wisconsin, but would not adversely affect the coastal zone and is therefore consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the Wisconsin Coastal Program.  The proposed action is in the floodplain of Underwood 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 Underwood Creek. 


     You may provide any concerns or comments regarding this proposed action in writing within thirty (30) days of the date of this notice.  If no comments are received, we will assume that you have no comments.  Please direct your comments to:


                                            Charles A. Uhlarik

                                            Chief, Environmental Analysis Branch

                                            U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

                                            477 Michigan Avenue,

                                            Detroit, Michigan, 48226-2550


     Following the comment period and a review of the comments received, the District Engineer (USACE, Detroit District) will make a final decision regarding the necessity of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed action.  Based on the conclusions of the DPR/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 EA.