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Town of Guilford seeks permits for proposed work in tidal waters, wetlands tributary to Long Island Sound

USACE, New England District
Published May 25, 2021

 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District received three After the Fact permit applications to retain work in waters of the United States from the Town of Guilford to authorize and retain previously placed fill associated with the reconstruction and elevation of town roadways identified as Tuttles Point Road, Old Quarry Road and Chaffinch Island Road in Guilford, Connecticut. This work was undertaken in tidal waters and wetlands tributary to Long Island Sound.

The Tuttles Point Road work, which occurred in 2016, involved the total placement of 330 cubic yards of rock fill over a 6,200 square foot area of tidal wetland dominated by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) for revetment slope reconstruction of an approximately 18-foot wide roadway
to a top elevation of approximately 8-feet North American Vertical Datum 88 (NAVD88).

Approximately 1,000 square feet of this impact was authorized under a Connecticut General Permit verification on Sept. 14, 2016. The work also included the replacement of two 40-foot long 15-inch diameter culverts, one which was nonfunctional, with a single 36-inch diameter pipe. The wetland
area and associated culvert is associated with a 4.6-acre tidal wetland area identified as Tuttles Point Marsh.

The Old Quarry Road work, which occurred in 2014, involved the total placement of approximately 1,270 cubic yards of rock fill over a 20,100 square foot area of tidal wetland dominated by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) for revetment slope reconstruction of an approximately 22-foot
wide roadway to a top elevation of approximately 6-feet NAVD88. Approximately 15,000 square feet of this impact was authorized under a Connecticut General Permit verification on Dec. 19, 2013.

The work also included the replacement of a 15-inch diameter culvert and a 24-inch diameter culvert with 24-inch and 48-inch diameter pipes, respectively. The wetland area is associated with a 40-acre tidal wetland complex associated with Hoadley Creek.

The Chaffinch Island Road work, which occurred in 2016, involved the total placement of approximately 750 cubic yards of rock fill over a 12,240 square foot area of tidal wetland dominated by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) for revetment slope reconstruction of an approximately
22-foot wide roadway to a top elevation of approximately 10-feet NAVD88. Approximately 6,550 square feet of this impact was authorized under a Connecticut General Permit verification on July 21, 2015. The work also included the replacement of two 40-foot long 30-inch diameter culverts, one which was non-functional, with a single 48-inch diameter pipe. The wetland area and associated culvert is associated with a tidal wetland complex associated with the western shore of the West River estuary marsh system.

The purpose of the fill discharged into waters and wetlands was to raise the elevation of the coastal roadways to reduce the amount of coastal flooding and improve public safety and access for emergency vehicles during higher tidal events.

To offset the total cumulative impact of 38,540 square feet (0.885 acre) tidal wetlands from the three completed roadway reconstruction projects at Tuttles Point Road, Chaffinch Island Road and Old Quarry Road, the permittee proposed to conduct the following activities:

a. Restore approximately 0.45 acres of existing lawn to tidal wetlands;

b. Restore approximately 2,365 linear feet of 2’ wide tidal creek system;

c. Restore approximately 7.46 acres of tidal marsh by the eradication of Common reed (Phragmites australis);

d. Monitor, maintain and repair, as needed, the cumulative tidal wetland restoration area of 8.19 acres; and

e. Protect the restoration areas in perpetuity though Conservation Easement and stewardship with implementation of a long-term management plan.

The purpose of the proposed compensatory mitigation is to restore and enhance the existing ecological value of tidal wetlands at the mouth of the West River and tidal wetlands bordering the Town of Guilford’s Chittenden Park.

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from members of the public; federal, state and local agencies; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. The public notice with more detailed information is available for review on the
District website at: https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/regulatory/PublicNotices/2021/NAE-2016-02486-
Guilford-Public-Notice.pdf
.

Public comments on this proposed work by the Town of Guilford should be forwarded no later than June 24, 2021, to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Attn: Cori M. Rose, Regulatory Division, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742 or by email to cori.m.rose@usace.army.mil. Please reference file numbers NAE-2016-00413, NAE-2012-02298 and NAE-2014-02195.


Contact
Bryan Purtell
978-318-8264
bryan.m.purtell@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-024