Project Name: Coles Creek Habitat Improvement
Summary: Integrated ecological services lead to enhanced wetland ecosystem
Client: New York Power Authority
Project Location: Massena, NY
• FERC Compliance Management
• State and Local Permitting
• Gate & Water Control Design
• Fish Habitat Structure Design
• Rare Threatened and
Endangered Plant Species
• Habitat Improvement and
• Wetland Delineation and Mitigation
• Invasive Species Management
Project Timeframe: 2003 - 2007
Relationship with Client: Since 1994
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) was required to develop a Habitat Improvement Project (HIP) for Coles Creek in Massena, NY as compliance for a FERC-licensed hydroelectric project on the St. Lawrence River. The Coles Creek HIP objective was to modify water levels in Coles Creek in order to create an enhanced wetland ecosystem for emergent plant, fish, and wildlife.
Kleinschmidt was hired by NYPA to retrofit an existing weir to facilitate access for adult fish (particularly northern pike) and egress for post-spawn adult and juvenile fish between the Saint Lawrence River and Coles Creek. The project also included the control of invasive wetland plants, the creation of several acres of riparian emergent marsh, and the restoration of 10 acres of riparian forest habitat. Kleinschmidt provided “cradle-to-grave” services including, baseline monitoring, existing condition mapping, design of invasive species control programs, conceptual design, permitting support, final design (including planting plans, grading plans, construction specifications, design details, and cross sections), bid support, and post-construction monitoring.
NYPA accessed Kleinschmidt’ multidisciplinary team of wetland and fisheries biologists as well as engineers and permitting specialists through one point of contact streamlining communications. Overall project costs were reduced as NYPA needed only to contract with Kleinschmidt rather than multiple firms. The successful technical approach met the project objectives resulting in improved ecological conditions and enhanced public and regulatory relations.