The Corps and Boise River Flood Control District #10 (FCD10) are partnering on the Boise River at Eagle Island Environmental Restoration Project. The project is being conducted in accordance with Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, which authorizes the Corps to modify existing Corps projects to restore the environment or construct new projects to restore areas where Corps projects have contributed to degradation of environmental quality.
The Corps is preparing a Feasibility Report (FR) and Environmental Assessment (EA) that will identify and evaluate the effects of alternative plans. The study process and documents will be prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and other applicable environmental laws and regulations.
The Boise River at Eagle Island Environmental Restoration Project is located approximately 15 miles downstream of Lucky Peak Dam where the lower Boise River splits into north and south channels, creating Eagle Island. The project area is located within the floodplain of the Boise River near the cities of Eagle, Garden City and Boise in Ada County, Idaho. The project is focused from the head of Eagle Island, downstream along both the north and south channels, to approximately the west end of the existing gravel ponds.
The objective of the proposed project is to restore the biological (aquatic and riparian communities) and physical (floodplain functions, sediment transport and channel hydraulics) components at and near the head of Eagle Island to a more naturally functioning and self-sustaining state. This area has been affected by flow regulation, irrigation diversion, flood control projects, gravel mining and land development encroachment from the 1950s to the present day. The project would also accommodate short-term and long-term goals and priorities to improve floodplain functions.
The Corps conducted scoping as required by the National Environmental Policy Act from November through December 2010. The Corps sent a letter to more than 180 agencies, organizations, local governments and residents requesting feedback on the issues and concerns that should be addressed in the FR and EA. A total of 16 comments were received during the 30-day scoping period. The National Environmental Policy Act Public Scoping Comments Summary provides a summary of the comments received.
The Corps and FCD10 hosted a public information meeting July 20, 2011, to provide information about study process, problems and potential strategies to address the identified problem. Input from the public and agencies will be used by the Corps and FCD10 to refine the problem statements and develop planning objectives that describe the desired future condition. Measures or strategies to address the problems and achieve planning objectives will be identified. These measures will be combined into alternative plans. The Corps will evaluate and compare alternative plans. A plan will be selected that provides the greatest increase in environmental benefits at the least cost. The Corps will prepare a feasibility report documenting the process and plan selection rationale. An environmental assessment (EA) will also be prepared to satisfy National Environmental Policy Act requirements and other applicable laws and regulations. The Corps anticipates having the draft feasibility report, an EA and a draft Finding of No Significant Impact available for public review and comment in spring 2012.