Slide 1. Title Slide

Ecological Standing Committee Meeting

October 26, 2010

Slide 2.

Agenda

·        Review Action Items from Nov. 19, 2009 ESC meeting

·        Habitat Improvement Project Progress

o   Osprey Nesting

o   Common Tern Nesting

o   Little Beaver Island Wetland Restoration

o   Invasive Species Control

o   Motor Island

o   Frog Island

·        HIP Cost Updates

·        HERF

o   Review of Draft Application Guidelines

·        Meeting Wrap Up / Action Items

Slide 3.

Nov. 19, 2009 Action Items

1.      NYPA  to post Nov. 19, 2009 ESC meeting presentation to the Niagara Relicensing website; http://niagara.nypa.gov

2.      NYPA to contact Scott Schlueter (USFWS) about the revised Frog Island design

3.      NYPA to consult with Native American nations about a name for the Frog Island HIP

4.      NYPA  to provide DEC with a copy of the fish attraction structure monitoring video

5.      DEC to consider applying to the HERF for monitoring -  in between scheduled years -  for fisheries utilization of the fish attraction structures.

6.      Motor Island plans to specify removal of the horizontal steel dock supports; vertical steel pilings to remain for ice protection

7.      NYPA will revise the Common Tern design per DEC recommendation

Slide 4.

2010 HIP Implementation Locations

Figure

Slide5.

Osprey Nesting Platform HIP

·        Completed design and installation at 3 locations

o   Tifft Marsh

o   Adams Slip

o   Little Beaver Island

·        Continued platform monitoring (4 NYPA and 2 DEC)

·        Preliminary discussions with owners at 102nd Street Landfill for last platform

Image

Slide 6.

Tifft Nature Preserve – Osprey Platform

Image

Slide 7.

Tifft Marsh – Feb/March 2010

Images

Slide 8.

Adams Slip Osprey Platform

Image

Slide 9.

Adams Slip – Feb/March 2010

Images

Slide 10.

Little Beaver Island Osprey Platform – Sept/Oct 2010

Image

Slide 11.

Little Beaver Island Osprey Platform – Sept/Oct 2010

Images

Slide 12.

Little Beaver Island – Osprey sighted May 12, 2010

Images

Slide 13.

Osprey Platform – 2010 Monitoring

·        Observe use and determine maintenance needs over 5-yr period

o   Includes use at 2 existing DEC platforms in Buckhorn Marsh

·        Monthly surveys during April-Sept. 2010 season

o   April 19, May 19, June 15, July 19, Aug. 2, Sept. 7

Image

Slide 14.

Osprey Platform – 2010 Monitoring Results

Location

Condition/Status

Activity

West Buckhorn Marsh

Installed 2007, excellent condition

Osprey nested on platform; 2 chicks observed

Mid Buckhorn Marsh

Pre-HIP

None observed

East Buckhorn Marsh

Pre-HIP

None observed

East River Marsh

Installed 2009, excellent condition

2 Osprey in April; 3 Osprey on platform in early August – possibly from crane

Tifft Marsh

Installed March 2010

Adult in May

Adams Slip

Installed March 2010

Adult in May

Image

Slide 15.

Images

Slide 16.

Osprey Nesting HIP – Next Steps

·        Continue monitoring installed platforms

·        Continue inquiries for last platform – 102nd Street Landfill

Image

Slide 17.

Common Tern HIP

·        Monitored Old Breakwater End Cell improved in 2009

o   No tern barge this year based on last years results

o   Divided end cell into 8 sections

·        Completed design and installation at 3 more locations (September – October)

Image

Slide 18.

2010 Results: Number of Nests

·        End cell more active than in 2009

·        Nesting earlier

·        Peak nests more numerous

·        May 19, 2009: 334 nests

·        May 21, 2010: 563 nests

·        Increase of 70% over previous year at same location

Image

Slide 19.

2010 Results: Productivity

·        Higher than in 2009 1.6 chicks/nest vs. 1.4

·        Among highest ever recorded on breakwalls

·        Over 800 chicks present on June 10

·        Mortality approximately 10-15%

·        No notable mortality among older chicks

Image

Slide 20.

Common Tern HIP – 2010 Enhancements

Image

Slide 21.

Old Breakwater North (Short)

Image

Slide 22.

Common Tern HIP – 2010 Enhancements

Image

Slide 23.

Common Tern HIP – 2010 Enhancements

Image

Slide 24.

Images

Slide 25.

Common Tern HIP – 4 Locations

Images

Slide 26.

Common Tern Nesting HIP

·        All construction for Common Tern HIP is now complete:

o   275 Tons of gravel placed on breakwaters

o   Total improved habitat = 10,580 square feet (0.25 acre)

·        Next Step: Monitor all 4 enhancements during 2011 breeding season

Images

Slide 27.

Little Beaver Island Wetland Restoration

Figure/Image

Slide 28.

Progress Since last ESC meeting

·        Consultation with Parks and USACE

·        Prepared and submitted permit applications

·        Completed Design

·        Solicited Bids for Earthwork and Planting Contracts

·        Awarded Earthwork Contract to LDC Construction, Grand Island, NY

·        Planting Contract to be awarded

·        Public Information Meeting in August

·        Began Construction in August

Slide 29.

Sediment and Erosion Controls

Images

Slide 30.

Temporary stream crossing

Images

Slide 31.

Excavated and Seeded Restoration Area

Images

Slide 32.

Sledding Hill

Images

Sliding 33.

Later this year

·        Replace storm drainage pipe at sledding hill

·        Breakwaters

·        Continuing excavation

Image

Slide 34.

Next year

·        Wetland plantings

·        Upland plantings

·        Seeding and pavement restoration

·        Kayak launch

Images

Slide 35.

Invasive Species Control

·        Objective - Control invasive wetland species in targeted areas …to promote growth of functionally valuable wetlands characterized by diverse community of native wetland vegetation.

·        Target areas

o   Buckhorn Marsh

o   Tifft Farm Nature Preserve

o   Other HIPs

·        Target species

o   Common reed

o   Japanese knotweed

Images

Slide 36.

Invasive Species Control

·        Completed Action Plans

·        Completed permitting

·        RTE Species Surveys (birds and plants)

·        Issued RFP and Selected Allied Biological to perform work

·        Work with Parks/TA and Tifft/NG to control additional areas within ROWs

·        Began implementation

Image

Slide 37.

RTE Species Survey Results

·        Tifft, Buckhorn, Motor, and Little Beaver

·        Target Species:

o   Southern blue flag

o   Sedge wren

o   Pied-billed grebe

o   Least bittern

·        Other:

o   Wafer-ash (Hop tree)

o   Northern harrier

·        Southern blue flag – DEC permit condition

Image

Slide 38.

Buckhorn, Tifft, Motor, Little Beaver

Figures

Slide 39.

2010 Invasive Species Treatments

Location

Species

# of Sites

Acres

Buckhorn Marsh

Phragmites

23

2.94

 

Knotweed

1

0.03

Tifft Marsh

Phragmites

37

2.93

Little Beaver

Phragmites

2

0.22

Motor Island

Phragmites

1

0.05

 

Knotweed

1

0.03

TOTAL

 

65

6.2

Slide 40.

Mechanical Treatment

Images

Slide 41

Crop Circles at Buckhorn

Image

Slide 42.

Japanese Knotweed Cut Stem Method

Images

Slide 43.

Wand Wiping Method

Images

Slide 44.

Backpack Spray Method

Images

Slide 45.

Tracked Vehicle Spray Method

Image

Slide 46.

Native Seed Bank

Monitoring will tell how well natives move back in

Image

Slide 47.

New Eruptions in Sensitive Habitat

Adaptive Management

Image

Slide 48.

Invasives Species HIP

·        Success Stories

o   Benefitting RTE species

o   Treating more areas than planned

o   TA/National Grid as Partners

o   Allied Biological

·        Challenges

o   Phragmites spread is rapid

o   Phragmites spreading by seed

o   Typha glauca spreading too

Slide 49.

Invasives Species HIP – Next Steps

·        Monitor treatment areas in mid-2011 for

o   Efficacy

o   Native plant succession

·        Repeat or spot treat 2010 treatment areas in late summer 2011

o   Repeat RTE survey

o   Repeat mechanical clearing, as necessary

o   Repeat herbicide application

·        Plan for Phase II treatment

·        Plan Control of Buckthorn at Motor Island

Slide 50.

Motor Island Shoreline Improvement HIP

·        Prepared 90% Design of shoreline embayments to provide habitat and prevent erosion

·        Permitting consultation on August 3, 2010

o   Jurisdictional wetland determination

o   Field tour to acquaint permitting staff with design

·        DEC comments lead to several design refinements

Image

Slide 51.

Motor Island HIP

·        Cultural Resources Survey – additional survey work in August 2010

o   Test pits in interior of island at potential areas of disturbance supplemented the 2009 survey of the island perimeter at structure locations

o   No archaeological findings of significance

·        August 2010 - DEC requested control of invasive Buckthorn; treat in fall 2011 as part of Invasives species HIP

Slide 52.

Existing Condition

Figure

Slide 53.

Motor Island HIP

Figure

Slide 54.

Motor Island HIP – Planting Zones

Zone

Habitat

Representative Species

0

Upland trees and grass over spoils/tennis court

Staghorn sumac, box elder, red oak

1

Native riparian trees, shrubs, herbs

Red and silver maple (t), chokeberry(s), bayberry(s)

2

Wetland shrub vegetation in cobble substrate along shoreline and in breakwater

Willows and red osier dogwood

3

Shallow emergent marsh and cobble beach

Hardstem & softstem bulrush, giant bur-reed

4

Deep emergent marsh and cobble beach

Pickerel weed, arrowhead hardstem bulrush

5

Deep pool

Unvegetated

6

Unvegetated breakwater

Unvegetated

Figure

Slide 55.

Motor Island HIP

Figure

Slide 56.

Motor Island – Next Steps

·        Complete Final Design and Specifications

·        Work with Agencies to Permit project

o   Individual Permit from USACE

o   Protection of Waters Permit from DEC

·        Plan for construction in late summer 2011

o   RFQ for Excavation

o   RFQ for Planting

Slide 57.

Frog Island – 50% Preliminary Design

·        Project Description Create emergent wetland and submerged aquatic vegetation habitat

·        Revised design based on ESC input in July 2009

·        Worked collaboratively with DEC and ESC on Conceptual Design

Image

Slide 58.

Frog Island – Revised Design

·        Dynamic river environment – slightly smaller main structure to adapt over time – Adaptive Management Approach

·        Low-profile “crescent” with higher tolerances for change/natural disturbance cycles

o   Elevation 6” above average water level

o   Large boulders at head of island to break wave energy and shed ice

o   Flow through/flushing

·        Incorporate open access from emergent marsh to deep water and SAV habitat within breakwaters

·        Maximize irregular edges and depth diversity (focus on deep emergent and SAV)

Slide 59.

Proposed Habitats

Depth (from NML VSEL 566.5)

Elevation Range (ft USLS35)

Habitat Zone

Typical Vegetation

0+

566.5+

Breakwaters

No Plantings, Maintenance Required

0-0.5

566-566.5

Shallow Zone

River bulrush, White boneset, Invastive Species, Common Reed

0.5-1.0

565.5-566

Shallow Emergent

Softstem bulrush, Hardstem bulrush, river bulrush, Tree Square, Burreed

1.0-1.5

565-565.5

Upper Deep Emergent

Arrowhead, Softstem bulrush, Hardstem bulrush, Three Square, Burred

1.5-2.5

564-565

Lower Deep Emergent

Arrowhead, Wild celery, Three Square, Burreed

2.5-4.0

562.5-564

SAV

Wild celery and other SAV species

4.0-

561-562.5

Deep SAV

Wild celery and other SAV species

Figure

Slide 60.

Section A

Vertical area influenced by waves (crest to trough) = 1.6 ft

Figure

Slide 61.

Frog Island Design Report – Draft

·        Posted to ESC section of Relicensing website (8/5/10) for ESC review and comments

·        Summarizes information on

o   Review of history and reference habitats

o   Design criteria: foundation, breakwater, vegetation

o   Hydrology, wind, wave, and ice analysis

o   Rock size

o   Soil analysis

o   Risk analysis

Slide 62.

Frog Island – HIP

Next Steps:

·        Finish 90% design in late fall 2010

·        Submit Permit applications in early 2011

·        Plan for construction in 2012-2013