Project Name: West Branch St. Regis Project
Summary: Wetland mitigation and monitoring
Client: Brookfield Renewable Energy
Project Location: Parishville, NY
Project Size: MW
• Habitat Assessment
• Wetland Delineation
• Habitat Improvements &
• Wetland Mitigation
• Federal, State and Local
Project Timeframe: 2005 - 2011
Relationship with Client: Since 1999
Brookfield Renewable Energy (Brookfield) was required to implement a wetland mitigation project for unavoidable impacts associated with penstock maintenance and upgrade work at their West Branch St. Regis Project in northern New York.
Kleinschmidt wetland scientists completed wetland delineations and a functional assessment of the impacted wetland areas. In order to mitigate losses to jurisdictional wetlands, Kleinschmidt developed a mitigation and monitoring plan that was accepted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This plan included the creation of emergent and scrub-shrub wetlands adjacent to an existing high quality wetland system within the floodplain of the St. Regis River. The design included a planting plan, which incorporated native wetland vegetation, use of variable topography, and a long term monitoring program. The design used “reference” wetlands (nearby wetlands with structure and function similar to the mitigation wetland) to determine design elevations, soils, and target plant communities. The mitigation plan targeted the replacement of functions that had been lost due to wetland impacts. After construction, Kleinschmidt wetland scientists completed detailed monitoring of vegetation, hydrology, and soil characteristics. The New York District of the USACE was provided with a baseline monitoring report detailing the success of the mitigation area. In 2011 the USACE determined that the wetland mitigation area had met the requirements of the permit success criteria.
Kleinschmidt scientists successfully used on-site transplants in conjunction with a custom native seed mix which saved Brookfield costs associated with purchasing containerized plants from a native wetland nursery. Further cost savings were realized as the project was implemented successfully with and no modifications or supplemental plantings required.