Ecological Standing Committee Meeting (3/18/2009)

Slide 1.

            Ecological Standing Committee Meeting

·       March 18, 2009

·        Image

Slide 2.

Agenda

·       Anticipated Habitat Improvement Projects (HIPs) activities for 2009

·       Invasive Species Control Plans

·       Osprey Nesting Platform

·       Common Tern Nesting Enhancements

·       Motor Island Shoreline Protection

·       Little Beaver Island Wetland Restoration

·       Fish Attraction Structures

·       Wetland Creation Upstream of Motor Island

·       Review Action Items from 12/10/2008 meeting

·       Meeting Wrap Up / Action Items

Slide 3.

Invasives Control at Buckhorn and Tifft

 

Objective

“Control invasive wetland species in targeted areas of Buckhorn and Tifft Marshes in order to promote the growth of functionally valuable wetlands characterized by a diverse community of native wetland vegetation”

Slide 4.

Accomplished Last Two Quarters

·       Complete Draft Actions Plans for both Buckhorn and Tifft

·        Calls with Dave Spiering to discuss overall approach and regulatory issues for Tifft Marsh

Slide 5.

Invasives Control – Plan for 2009

·       Distribute Draft Action Plans to Parks, DEC and Buffalo Museum of Science (Participants in Action Plan Development) (Q1)

·       Meet with above parties (Q2)

·       Revise Action Plans per input from Parks, DEC and BMS (Q2)

·       Distribute Action Plans for ESC iput (Q2-Q3)

·       Permitting (Q4)

·       Scope Development for Implementation (RFPs) (Q3-Q4)

Slide 6.

Action Plan: Priority Species

·       Phragmites (primary)

·       Image

·       Japanese Knotweed (secondary)

·       Image

Slide 7.

Different Methods for Different Stands

·       Images

Slide 8.

Buckhorn Group Ranks – DRAFT

·       Figure

Slide 9.

Tifft Group Ranks – DRAFT

·       Figure

Slide 10.

Osprey Nesting Platform – 2009

Installation, Additional Site Selection, and Monitoring

·       Figure

Slide 11.

Pole Location on Island E

·       Figure

Slide 12.

Osprey Pole Section

·       Figure

Slide 13.

Osprey Pole Installation East River Marsh

·        RFQ Issued Feb 16

·       Bids due March 18

·       Permit Applications

·       Evaluate bids and award contract (April)

·       Install platform by June 30

·       Image

Slide 14.

Osprey Nesting Platforms – Additional Site Selection

·        Review four additional installation locations

·       Strawberry Island

·       Bird Island

·       Tifft Farm Nature Preserve (2)

·       Consider new potential locations

·       NYPA team to develop list of candidate sites

·       Opportunity for public to suggest sites

·       Develop revised list of potential installation locations

Slide 15.

Osprey Nesting Platform Site Selection Criteria

·       Table

Slide 16

·       Image (Osprey)

Slide 17.

Osprey Nesting Platform Site Suggestion Card

·       Send in by April 24th (email or mail)

·       NYPA will compile and consider all sites

·       Develop prioritized list of sites

·       Select 4 for Osprey HIP

·       Additional sites are potential for HERF or for others

·       Image (of card)

Slide 18.

Osprey Nesting Platform Monitoring Outlined in Settlement Agreement

·       Maintenance monitoring for life of license (2057)

·       Monitor all platforms for Osprey use for five years

·       Monitor monthly May to September (five months)

·       Record and report observations

·       Presence or absence of nest

·       Number of adults or young

·       Behaviors observed (e.g., nest building, incubation)

·       Notes and observations (platform condition, nest condition, photographs, etc)

·       Image

Slide 19.

Common tern Nesting – 2009

·       Objective: Improve or create nesting habitat for the threatened Common Tern

·       Breakwater end cell modification (Short Breakwater) and tern nesting habitat barge (North [or Donnelly’s] Breakwater)

·       Discussions with the USACE and DEC (Q1 – done)

·       Engineering design/permit applications (Q1 – done)

§  USACE Nationwide & Real Estate Permits

·       Issue RFQ for end cell design and tern habitat barge (Q1 – done)

·       Bids due March 9th; now under evaluation

·       Award contract

·       Modify end cell and install barge when permits issued (early Q2)

·       DEC says stop by April 20th finish after nesting season (if necessary)

·       Monitor nesting (Q2-Q3)

·       Image

Slide 20.

Framework and Perimeter Fence

·       Plan Figure

Slide 21.

Perimeter Fence for End Cell Modification

·       Plan Figure

Slide 22.

Nesting Barge at Donnelly’s Breakwater

·       Plan Figure

Slide 23.

Newly Created Tern Habitat on Floating Barge

·       Plan Figure (aerial view)

Slide 24.

Common Tern Nesting Monitoring – 2009

·       Monitor tern nesting on the end cell and barge from April to July

·       Survey approximately once per week (weather/conditions permitting)

·       Use established DEC survey protocols (e.g. NYSDEC, 2004; Haper et al. 2008)

·       Image

Slide 25.

Common Tern Nesting Monitoring 2009 continued

·       On each survey, record the number of nests, egg, and chicks

·       Calculate productivity (chicks fledged per nest)

·       Prepare report

·       Determine future course of action

·       Update the ESC with results and potential future plans

·       Images

Slide 26.

Motor Island Shoreline Protection

Revised Approach –

·       Use softer bioengineering approach

·       Create series of low-profile breakwater islands to help attenuate erosive energies.

·       Excavate scalloped shoreline to provide habitat diversity (wetland and protected pools) and create smoother transition to the island.

Slide 27.

Motor Island

·       Image – current

·       Image – June 1927

Slide 28.

Motor Island Plan View

·       Plan Figure

Slide 29.

Pool with Short Breakwater Island Details

·       Elevation Graph

·       Figure

Slide 30.

Pool with Short Breakwater Island

·       Image

Slide 31.

Pool with Narrow Opening

·       Elevation Graph

·       Figure

Slide 32.

Pool with Narrow Opening

·       Image (shown with Boulder Option)

·       Image (shown with Rootwad/log Option)

Slide 33.

Sheetpile with Bioengineered RipRap

·       Elevation Graph

·       Figure

Slide 34.

Sheetpile with Bioengineered RipRap

·       Image

Slide 35.

Cobble Beach

·       Elevation Graph

·       Figure

Slide 36.

Cobble Beach

·       Image

Slide 37.

Motor Island – 2009 Activities

·       Incorporate feedback from ESC into Conceptual Designs (2Q)

·       Incorporate flow and ice modeling results into designs (2Q-3Q)

·       Evaluate low-profile breakwater elevations

·       Adjust rock sizes as needed

·       Collect additional data needed for design and permitting (2Q-3Q)

·       Delineate wetlands, large trees and key plant communities

·       Soil testing

·       Cultural resources

Slide 38.

            Little Beaver Island Wetland Restoration

·       Image

Slide 39.

Little Beaver Island

·       Image - Marsh Pre-dredging Circa 1950

Slide 40.

            Little Beaver Island Marsh – pre 1950

·       Image

Slide 41.

Objective: Enhance/restore wetland structure and function by modifying the topography and planting with native wetland vegetation

·       Primary Target Species – waterfowl, terns, wading birds, herptiles, and native wetland plants

·       Secondary Target Species – passerines, muskrats, native fishes

·       Image

Slide 42.

            Little Beaver Island Wetland Restoration Activities

·       Consultation with Parks on Conceptual Design

·       Wetland Study

·       RTE Reconnaissance Survey

·       Additional Bathymetry and Topography

·       Rough Quantities of Fill to be Removed

·       Investigation of Different Spoil Disposal Alternatives

·       Tree Survey

Slide 43.

            Wetland Study Components

·       Map Existing Conditions

·       Invasive species

·       Marsh boundary

·       Determine Plant and Habitat Elevations

·       Biologists developed list of native wetland plants and targeted zone

·       Image

Slide 44.

            Geotechnical Investigation of Little Beaver Island

·       Fill thickness contours

·       Figure

Slide 45.

            Spoil Disposal Alternatives

·       Onsite

·       Barge to USACE’s CDF Facility

·       Trucking to Various Offsite Locations

Slide 46.

            Tree Survey

·       Location, Species, Trunk Diameter, Formation, Health, Canopy

·       Image

Slide 47.

            Design Considerations

·       Habitat Elevations

·       Spoil Disposal

·       Construction Sequencing

·       Construction Scheduling

·       Control Spread of Invasive Species

·       Avoid impact to RTE species

·       Recreational Use

Slide 48.

            Figure – Proposed Design

Slide 49.

            Little Beaver Island HIP Habitat Area

·       Table

Slide 50.

            Elevation ranges for Wetland cover Types

·       Table: Beaver Island & East River Marsh

Slide 51.

            Native Marsh Planting Plan

·       Deep Marsh

·       Softstem Bulrush

·       Burreed

·       Arrowhead

·       Three-square

·       Pickerelweed

·       Shallow Marsh

·       River Bulrush

·       Tussock Sedge

·       Soft rush

·       Burred

·       Scrub-shrub

·       Red-osier Dogwood

·       Willow

·       Buttonbush

·       Arrowhead

·       Swamp rose

·       Blue vervain

·       White boneset

Slide 52.

            Progress & Schedule

·       2006-2008: Pre-Construction Studies

·       2008: Conceptual design (10%)

·       2009: Conceptual Design (10%), Additional Pre-Construction Studies Preliminary Design (50%)

·       2010: Fianl Design & Permitting

·       2011-2012: Construction

Slide 53.

            Fish Attraction Structures

·       Post-Construction Monitoring outlined in Settlement Agreement

·       Qualitative monitoring using SCUBA divers 4 times over first 10 years (years 1, 4, 7 & 10)

§  Installed October 2008

§  Monitor in: 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018

Slide 54.

            Fish Attraction Structure Monitoring

·       Divers will visually inspect structures in late summer or early fall

·       Observed variables include

·       Structural integrity (movement of structure, invasive zebra mussels in intertital spaces etc.)

·       Presence or absence of fish

§  Species present and estimated number (e.g., 1, 1-10, 10-20, 20-50, 50-100, 100+)

·       Summary included with Annual Report

Slide 55.

            Fish Attraction Structure Monitoring

·       Public Observation

·       Liability

·       Data Management

§  Accuracy and consistency

§  Collation

§  Analysis and discussion

Slide 56.

            Wetland Creation Upstream of Motor Island

·       General design criteria

·       No trees

·       Maximize flow through

·       Tern nesting area

·       Preliminary Design Activities  - 2009

·       Develop detailed cross sections (Q2)

·       Add details of key features (plantings, substrate size, etc.) (Q3)

·       Begin to develop specs for soils and plantings (Q3)

·       Develop construction scope and sequence (Q3)

·       Analyze island performance (ice, wind, low water) (Q3)

·       Review constructability (Q4)

·       Update cost opinion (Q4)

·       Internal engineering review (Q4)

·       ESC review and input (Q4)

·       Image

Slide 57.

            Action Items from Dec. 10, 2008 ESC Meeting

·       Group to discuss community donation of goods and services towards HIPs.

·       NYPA will compile a list of criteria for identifying additional HIP osprey pole locations.

·       NYPA will develop a list of potential osprey pole locations by the first quarter of 2009.

·       NYPA will place Little Beaver Island RTE reconnaissance report on relicensing website.

·       NYPA will put meeting presentation on the website.

Slide 58.

Relicensing Settlement Agreement Addressing New License Terms and Conditions 4.1.2. Habitat Improvement Project Funds

“Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of the New License or license issuance, whichever is later, the Power Authority shall establish a Habitat Improvement Project Funds (“HIPs Fund”) in the amount of $12,000,000 (NPV 2007), … . Should the cost of the HIPs exceed the amount in the HIPs Fund, the Power Authority will cover additional expenses.”

Slide 59.

Title Relicensing Settlement Agreement Addressing New License Terms and Conditions 4.1.2. Habitat Improvement Project Funds

“… For any HIPs that the DEC determines should not be constructed, or otherwise cannot be constructed, the proposed funding for those particular HIPs will be transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Fund established in Section 4.1.3 of this relicensing Agreement. …”

Slide 60.

Relicensing Settlement Agreement Addressing New License Terms and Conditions 4.1.2. Habitat Improvement Project Funds

“… Further, should any matching funds or resources provided in-kind reduce the amount of expenditures needed to construct a particular HIP, the Power Authority shall transfer, with the agreement of the ESC, an equivalent amount of funds to the Fish and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Fund; provided, however, the total cost of the HIPS does not exceed the estimate set forth in Appendix C.”

Slide 61.

            Action Items from Dec. 10, 2008 ESC Meeting

·       Group to discuss community donation of goods and services towards HIPs.

·       NYPA will compile a list of criteria for identifying additional HIP osprey pole locations.

·       NYPA will develop a list of potential osprey pole locations by the first quarter of 2009.

·       NYPA will place Little Beaver Island RTE reconnaissance report on relicensing website.

·       NYPA will put meeting presentation on the website.

Slide 62.

            Review Action Items