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Title: Clear Creek Watershed flood risk management habitat assessments using Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP)
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Galveston District.
Burks-Copes, Kelly A.
Webb, Antisa C.
Keywords: Clear Creek Watershed
Clear Creek, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Flood Risk Management
Habitat Evaluation Procedures
Environmental impacts
Environmental effects
System-Wide Water Resources Program
Issue Date: Jul-2013
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/EL ; TR-13-15.
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: The cumulative effects of urban development along the Clear Creek (southern Texas) over the last 100 years has led to substantial increases in flooding. The flooding can be directly attributed to both the narrowing of the floodplain and the construction of buildings and infrastructure in the region’s flood-prone areas. In 1999, the USACE Galveston District initiated a feasibility study to revise past efforts and formulate new solutions to address the Clear Creek problems and contacted the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL) in 2003 for assistance. The District is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), as required under the tenets of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to evaluate the impacts of proposed flood risk management measures in the watershed. As part of the process, a multi-agency evaluation team was established to (1) identify environmental issues and concerns; (2) evaluate the significance of fish and wildlife resources and select resources; (3) recommend and review environmental studies; (4) evaluate potential impacts; and (5) recommend and evaluate potential mitigation measures. Between 2003 and 2008, this team designed, calibrated, and applied a landscape-level community-based index model for the system’s floodplain forests using standard Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP). One hundred and one floodplain forest Average Annual Habitat Units (AAHUs) were lost due to the proposed flood risk management measures. Twelve individual mitigation plans were evaluated to offset the impacts detailed in the NED plan. The outputs for the various mitigation scenarios ranged from 9-180 AAHUs for the forests’ communities. The results of both the impact and mitigation assessments are provided herein. The intent of this document is to provide details of the HEP application (for both the impact and the mitigation assessments) for the Clear Creek project. Readers interested in the scientific basis upon which the models were developed should refer to the authors’ second report entitled, "Floodplain Forest Community Index Model for the Clear Creek Watershed, Texas" (Burks-Copes and Webb in preparation).
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