Wetlands Planning andProjects in the Mat-SuFrankie Barker, Environmental PlannerMatanuska-Susitna Boroughfrankie.firstname.lastname@example.org
“Those areas that are inundated and saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. “MSB Wetlands Definition(17.125.10)
WHY IS MSB DOING WETLANDS WORK?Rapid population growth and land usedevelopment (50% growth in 10 years)Concern about loss of wetlands and benefitsthey provideDesire to earn revenue from Borough ownedproperty with large wetlands areasFunding and technical assistance offered fromfederal agencies to do wetlands projectsLack of public information about wetlands
Population Growth in Alaska--Grew By 95,258 Between 2000-2011 Population growth 2000-2011 Alaska 15% 722,190Fairbanks 15% 18% 97,615Southeast 0% 1%Anchorage 33% 14% 296,197 Matsu 34% 55%Gulf Coast 7% 8% 91,697Southwest 2% 6% Northern 3% 13% America 10% Sources: AKDOWL, R&A and U.S. Census Bureau
MSB Wetlands ProjectsWetlands Mitigation Bank (Big Lake South )Wetlands Mapping (Greater core area)Public Education (atlases, web page& wetlands viewer)Wetlands Functional Assessment (Greater core area 2010 -2012) Wetlands Management Plan(2010- 2012) Increase awareness and protection of wetlands
MSB Wetlands Mitigation Bank Su-Knik Mitigation Bank was created in partnership with Sustainable Environments, LLC and Great Land Trust to manage the wetlands mitigation bank. Purpose of the Su-Knik Mitigation Bank is to provide mitigation opportunities to permit applicants, when the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) determines that compensatory mitigation is required for impacts to wetlands that are within ACOE’s jurisdiction.
MSB Wetlands Mitigation BankAdopted by MSB in 2005 to protect wetlands areas,provide mitigation options for development andgenerate revenue for MSB.Total 12,700 acresBig Lake South 2279 acres, Fish Creek WatershedBig Lake West 4,923 acres, Little Susitna WatershedFish Creek West 5,554 acres, Lower Susitna Watershed December 4, 2009 – Approval by ACOE to release credits
Su-Knik Mitigation Bank South-Central AlaskaThere are three different service areas for theproperties that comprise the Su-Knik MitigationBank : Fish Creek Watershed, Little SusitnaWatershed and the Lower Susitna Watershed.At this time, the bank only has credits for sale in the"Fish Creek Watershed". However, for projects outsidethis service area, credits may be able to be utilized fromthe Big Lake Watershed. This is determined on a case bycase basis by the Army Corps.For more information:www.su-knikmitigationbank.comor MSB Land Management Division
Wetlands Technical GroupDecember 5 & 6, 2007: An interagency group of 15- 20 people met to review the purpose and scope of the wetlands mapping and assessment work planned for the Mat-Su Watershed study. Participants discussed the status of past and ongoing wetlands studies in the Mat-Su. Mapping work and results from 2007 field season were reported and suggestions were made to form a technical group for wetlands assessment work.March, April & May 2008: A technical wetlands assessment group was assembled to discuss methodology for Mat-Su wetlands assessment. Various existing wetlands assessment guidebooks were suggested as models for the Mat-Su. Wetlands mapping plans, methods and staffing were planned for the 2008 field season. Organizations participating in the technical group were ACOE, EPA, USFWS, Aquatic Research and Restoration Institute (ARRI), Kenai Watershed Forum, Mat-Su Borough, USGS, and NRCS.
Mike Gracz, Kenai Watershed Forum, email@example.com
Army Corps Mat-Su Watershed StudyPurpose: To provide resources to producecomprehensive watershed assessments for theSusitna and Matanuska watersheds.Dates : October 2007 –present.Funding: Mat-Su Borough is matching ACOEfunds 1:1 through related in-kind work. Phase Icost was approximately $600,000.Projects: The initial priority (Phase I) identifiedfor the study was wetlands mapping, functionalassessment and data gap analysis.
Wetlands Mapping 2007-2009 Wasilla & Cottonwood Creek Watersheds2007 – 101,113 acres, 134 sites visited Little Su, Big Lake, Knik-Fairview 2008 – 189,183 acres, 110 sites visited Big Lake SW, Butte 2009 – 102,268 acres, 207 sites visited (32,195 acres of wetlands, 31.5% of area – wettest area) Total: 374,184 acres mappedIncludes 105,485 acres of wetlands in 6646 wetlandspolygons (28.2% of the land surface), 13,800 acres oflakes and 2500 acres of wetland birch forests.
Jan. 15, 2007 PRESS RELEASE First Borough atlas on wetlands adds tool to planningThe Matanuska-Susitna Borough has produced a “Big LakeWatershed Atlas” covering about ninety square miles ofwatershed. The 138-page document is the first Boroughatlas of wetlands. The atlas provides an importantplanning tool within one of the Borough’s fastest growingareas. The atlas contains 134 photographs overlaid with wetlands, culverts, roads, and parcel boundaries. Each of the map pages is a square mile. The atlas lays out where wetlands and waterbodies are in relation to existing parcels and undeveloped lots.
WETLANDS WEB RESOURCESWetlands Viewer: MSB GIS has developed awetlands viewer that shows MSB and NWImapped wetlands. Viewer is used by planners,contractors, surveyors and general public tolocate wetlands.http://maps.matsugov.us/Wetlands/Wetlands Website: MSB has created awebsite for public access to wetlands informationand maps and is soliciting services to redesignand update.http://wetlands.matsugov.us
Wetlands Functional AssessmentFunction/Value1. Streamflow Moderation2. Contribution to Groundwater3. Anadromous Fish Habitat4. Transmission of Groundwater5. Floodflow Alteration6. Sediment/Toxicant/Pathogen Retention7. Sediment Shoreline Stabilization8. Foodchain Support9. Recreation10. Education11. Nutrient Removal/Retention/Transformation12. Consumptive Uses13. Uniqueness14. Habitat and Maintenance of Biodiversity15. Habitat for Species of Interest16. Visual Quality/Aesthetics17. Culture/History
Wetlands Functional AssessmentStatus: Sections under review by technical committee. Due for completion summer 2012For more information contact:Robin ReichSolstice Alaska Consulting, Inc2607 Fairbanks Street, Suite BAnchorage, AK 99503907.929.5960
Wetlands Management PlanWhy develop a wetlands plan? Bring together wetlands information in one place Build awareness of wetlands characteristics, benefits, and functions Provide information about wetlands regulatory process for development Provide information about mitigation and conservation options Develop recommendations for future wetlands management
Wetlands Management PlanTimeline: EPA awarded MSB a Wetlands Development Grant of $117,788, June 2009 EPA approved MSB Work Plan, September 2009 EPA Grant & MSB match ($50,481) approved by Assembly, November 2009 RFP issued, contract awarded to HDR, Inc., August 2010
Wetlands Management PlanWetlands Advisory Group Agencies - USFWS, ACOE, EPA, NRCS Businesses – Developers, Real Estate, Science Technology, Mining Conservation Organizations (NGO’s)– GLT, WSWCD, KWF, ARRI, FOMS Recreation groups – Willow TrailsWAG Meetings – December 2010, February 2011, May 2011
PUBLIC NOTICE MSB PROPERTY OWNERS AND RESIDENTS The DRAFT Matanuska-Susitna Borough Wetlands Management Plan is now available for public review. The draft plan can be found on the MSB web site at http://www.matsugov.us/planning/prd. Hard copies are available at the MSB Permit Center or can be mailed by calling MSB Planning Office at 745-9833. Please review the draft and submit your comments, suggestions or corrections by Friday, November 18, 2011.Comments can be mailed to the Planning Department at 350 E. Dahlia Avenue, Palmer, Alaska 99645 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.For further information, please contact the Planning Department at 907-745-9833.
MSB Wetlands ProjectsWetlands Mitigation Bank (in business – selling credits)Wetlands Mapping (north of Willow 2012)Public Education (web page && wetlands viewer - ongoing)Wetlands Functional Assessment (Completion summer 2012) Wetlands Management Plan(To MSB Assembly summer 2012) Increase awareness and protection of wetlands
Thanks to our partners: US Army Corps of Engineers Kenai Watershed Forum Environmental Protection Agency US Fish and Wildlife Service Sustainable Environments LLC Great Land TrustFrankie Barker, Environmental PlannerMatanuska-Susitna Borough907email@example.com