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Public Notice: Proposed Wisconsin Point Bird Sanctuary

Publish Date: 04/27/2018

Summary

This notice is being issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (PDF) (2 pp, 149 K, About PDF) in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The purpose of this notice is to coordinate with interested agencies, public groups, tribes, and citizens as well as to advertise an upcoming public meeting concerning a proposed St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC) project at the northeastern end of Wisconsin Point in an area owned by WI DNR called the Wisconsin Point Bird Sanctuary Site, Superior, Wisconsin.

The purpose of the proposed project is to restore habitat for the Piping Plover, a federal and state endangered bird. The project will improve habitat along approximately 1,700 feet of shoreline to create approximately 3.5 acres of piping plover foraging habitat and 4.5 acres of piping plover nesting habitat through the beneficial use of dredged material from the Duluth-Superior Federal Navigation Channel (Figure 1). Proposed activities for this project include placing and grading clean sand dredged to expand the shipping channel, placing cobbles/gravel, planting dune grass, and discouraging predation. This project has been identified as necessary for the delisting of a beneficial use impairment associated with the AOC as completion of this project will contribute to the re-establishment of fish and wildlife populations.  The project is being funded by the EPA and designed and constructed by the USACE on behalf of the EPA.

Construction is anticipated to take place during summer and fall 2019.  During this time the site will be closed to the public.  Once construction is complete the current site closure regulations will continue from April 1 to August 15 each year for piping plover nesting season (Wisconsin Administrative Code NR15.03).  No new closures are anticipated to result from this project.

Public Meeting

The WI DNR will hold a public meeting from 4:30 to 6 pm on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, 3 Marina Drive, Superior, Wisconsin 54880, to provide an opportunity for further dialogue and to gather public feedback about the proposed project. Project team members will be available to answer your questions throughout the event, with an overview of the project presented at 5:15 pm.

Under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the particular implementing regulation, 36 CFR § 800.2(d)(2), government agencies must provide the public with information about a federal undertaking and its effects on historic properties and seek public comment and input.  This notice provides the public with such information and seeks comment and input from the public.  The USACE, on behalf of the EPA, has reviewed the proposed project under Section 106 of the NHPA and has reached a preliminary determination that the proposed project is an undertaking and that there would be “no historic properties affected” based on no historic properties being present in the project area.  Any person who has a historical or cultural interest that may be affected by the proposed action may submit comments regarding this effects determination.  The comments must be submitted in writing and must clearly state what historical or cultural interest may be affected by this activity.  Comments should be sent within thirty (30) days of the date of the public meeting to the address in the box on the right or to LRE-NHPA-Comments@usace.army.mil.  Any comments will be reviewed by the USACE, on behalf of the EPA, and the USACE may change the effects determination based on the comments received.  If no comments are received by the end of the review period, it will be assumed that you have no comment.  All comments received will be given consideration in the preparation of the final project design.  The final project design will be submitted by the property owner, the WI DNR, to the State of Wisconsin and the USACE Regulatory Office through the appropriate permit application procedures.  A second opportunity for public comments may occur during the permit review process.   The USACE will also consult with the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office and federally recognized tribes on behalf of the EPA regarding this project before a final effects determination is made. 

Fact Sheet

WI DNR Restoring Piping Plover Habitat (PDF) (2 pp, 2 MB)

Figure 1. (click to enlarge)