A draft environmental assessment (DEA) for sand removal at Snyder Bend in Woodbury County, Iowa is currently available for public review. The draft EA evaluates the environmental impacts of restoring Snyder Bend’s wetlands back to their pre-2011 flood condition.
This draft supplemental EA is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), the Corps’ regulations for implementing NEPA (33 CFR 325 and Engineering Regulation 200-2-2) and other applicable environmental laws and regulations.
The Snyder Bend property is currently owned by the Corps and maintained by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife management area. The flood of 2011 caused river-borne sediment to accumulate over a larger area of the property, impacting a majority of the site’s riparian area and wetlands. These areas serve as breeding, nesting, and feeding habitat for migratory and non-migratory birds, and waterfowl along with providing habitat and food resources for fish and other wildlife species.
Water from the wetlands is eventually carried downstream to Snyder Bend’s oxbow lake, an area that allows for fishing and boat launching opportunities for those recreating at Snyder Bend Park, a park owned and managed by the Woodbury County Conservation Board in Iowa.
The proposed project would involve the use of mechanical equipment to excavate approximately 200,000 cubic yards of flood-deposited sand to restore an approximated 31 acres of Snyder Bend’s wetlands to pre-flood conditions. Material from the site would be excavated and then temporarily stockpiled within the proposed project area (outside of the 1071’ floodway) in a flood disturbed area that is currently populated by native weedy plant species and sand.
As the material is being stockpiled, it would be simultaneously hauled away by Lieber Construction for use at an off-site construction project.
Press Release, September 13, 2013