Wetlands Services to the City of Toledo
Wetland and threatened and endangered species surveys for 12 sites in Toledo in support of the Toledo Waterways Initiative (TWI).
We performed pre-construction wetlands surveys to determine whether wetlands were in construction areas for proposed storage basins, storage facilities, and pipelines.
The wetlands surveys included a review of available resources, including maps, aerial photographs, previous soil surveys, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Online Wetland Mapper, and a field assessment.
During the field assessment, we measured the presence of wetland hydrology, hydric soils, and hydrophytic vegetation and provided photographic documentation of our findings. The areas that met the three criteria were determined to be wetlands and were field staked or flagged. The approximate location and acreage of the identified wetlands were determined using a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit. A report was prepared for each site that identified wetland-type soils, vegetation, and surface water hydrology, along with a photographic log and map.
We worked with the City to confirm that no wetland disturbance would occur when a wetland was identified in the project area. We provided options to avoid disruption for the sites where wetlands were located within the construction area and would be affected by construction. In cases where wetland disturbance could not be avoided, we prepared wetland permit applications, including USACE 404 and Ohio EPA 401 permits.
We performed threatened and endangered species surveys to visually identify signs of endangered or protected species of flora and fauna in the areas for the proposed storage basins, storage facilities, and pipelines. The survey included a review of available historical resources and a field assessment.
We worked with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to obtain a species list identifying threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species in the project area. We also gathered information about existing or proposed state nature preserves or scenic rivers, unique ecological sites, geologic features, breeding animal concentrations, champion trees, state parks, forests, or wildlife areas on the site or in the site vicinity.
A letter report documenting the findings of the Endangered Species Survey, including photographic documentation of results, was prepared for the sites and included recommendations for future site plans, developments, and mitigation effort requirements.
In addition, we conducted Indiana and Northern Long-eared Bat surveys at project sites to determine the extent of suitable habitat for both. The sites included:
- Large wooded areas (25 acres)
- Smaller wooded areas
- Riparian areas within project areas
- Tree-lined residential streets
We identified and mapped trees meeting the requirement for suitable Indiana and Northern Long-ear bat habitats. If potential bat roost trees were at risk, seasonal clearing (between October 1 and March 31) was recommended. We worked with the City to identify portions of the project that could be completed without impact on potential roost trees.
We performed Phase I ESA’s for eight of the sites, including:
- A records review of regulatory agency sources and historical use information to identify Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs)
- A site survey observing general conditions of the site and adjoining properties
- Interviews with site owners, occupants, and local government officials.
- Final reports summarizing the findings and recommendations regarding identified RECs were prepared and submitted for each site.
Phase II ESA’s and preliminary geotechnical subsurface investigations were later performed for sites with identified RECs to assess the impact on soil and groundwater. Field activities such as soil borings, field screening of soil samples, and collection of soil and groundwater samples were done for laboratory analysis. We prepared a Phase II ESA report summarizing the findings and recommendations for mitigation efforts and reports outlining the preliminary results of the subsurface geotechnical investigations for each site.
Northern long-eared bat photo courtesy of USGS.gov