DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED UPSTREAM OF MENTOR MARSH
Article and photo thanks to Carole Clement
The Mentor Marsh is a designated Important Birding Area, a designated National Natural Landmark, portions of which are dedicated State of Ohio Nature Preserve, and a City of Mentor Nature Preserve and Marina. Studies (Rand Corp, 1969; Jones, 1975; Whipple, 1997) document the sensitivity of the Mentor Marsh to activities upstream of the Marsh watershed.
Shamrock Business Center, Ltd. (SBC), applied to the US Army Engineer Corps (USACE) on April 15, 2013, regarding further development of land adjacent to Diamond Centre Dr and Brookstone Blvd, an area which is the headwaters of Blackbrook Creek and upstream of the Mentor Marsh. For the sake of the Marsh’s fragile ecosystem, residents and persons concerned about the area need more time to review, understand and comment on the work proposed by SBC’s Application #1997-5010004.
Here are some of SBC’s proposals that can have an impact on areas downstream from Blackbrook Creek, the Mentor Marsh and the entire Lake Erie/Mentor Marsh Watershed:
1.) SBC seeks authorization to maintain .74 acres of on-site fill (filled between 2004-09 within Wetland 14 without proper Department of the Army authorization).
2.) SBC seeks permission to fill an additional 14.9 acres of on-site wetlands; to fill 8486 linear feet of the remaining 14, 809 feet of on-site streams; to create a 7501 linear feet long channel along south, east and north sides of the SBC site for stream mitigation,
THE PROBLEM: Changing the natural drainage system of the area increases the volume and velocity of upstream water flow, Increasing the potential for flooding and adverse alterations in stream form and function. In the storm of 2006, the modified area of Blackbrook Creek and overflowed into the south end of Headlands State Park, flooding the parking lots. When the fast-moving waters hit the sandy beach, they ripped a wide, deep channel down to the lake.
3) In keeping with the law, SBC seeks permission to mitigate their wetland destruction at Diamond Center by creating equal acreage of wetlands off-site in Leroy Township.
THE PROBLEM: Additional wetlands in Leroy are a net gain for the Grand River watershed but do nothing to mitigate the potential for flooding or erosion in areas downstream of Diamond Center in the Lake Erie/Mentor Marsh watershed.
To be effective, mitigation should occur on-site, preferably at the north end of SBC’s proposed expansion. Instead, SBC filled in .74 acre of wetland and seeks permission to fill in an additional 14.9 wetland acres of the area.
Please contact the US Army Corps of Engineers at the address below by May 14, 2013, with your comments on SBC’s proposed development plans.
Shamrock Business Center’s application + pertinent maps are at http://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Portals/45/docs/regulatory/publicnotices/April2013/PN1997-5010004Oh.pdf
USACE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Michael W. Smith, (716) 879-4262 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael W. Smith US Army Corps of Engineers,
Buffalo District, Regulatory Branch
1776 Niagara Street Buffalo NY14207-3199
MUST INCLUDE: Re. Application #1997-5010004
Because a public hearing isn’t a given, please request a public hearing re. the above Application #.
Because the deadline for submitting comments is May 14, 2013, please request an extension of that deadline.
Because some comments slip through the cracks, please state that you want your comments to become part of the public record re. the above Application #.
Neither honey nor vinegar will gain your argument any points, so please talk nicely but firmly and keep your commentary brief and to the point.
Please direct questions to the Mentor Marsh at 440 257-0777.
Check out the NEO Sierra Club perspective.