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Posted 1/20/2016

Release no. 16-005

Jim Pogue

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 20, 2016 – In partnership with the West Tennessee River Basin Authority, the Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) today issued a notice of availability of the draft Cypress Creek Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study With Integrated Environmental Assessment. USACE is now soliciting comments and information to improve this report, and inform decision-makers regarding public opinions and local issues.

 The report describes a Tentatively Selected Plan and alternatives to that plan. The proposed plan includes the construction of 12 grade control weirs on the main stem of Cypress Creek from the Fayette/Shelby County line through Oakland, Tenn.  An additional eight weirs are proposed along tributaries that enter Cypress Creek. The purpose of these weirs is to stabilize the channel bottom of Cypress Creek. No decisions have been made at this time, and public input will be considered prior to any final decision. Locations for structures and access routes are somewhat flexible. They will be discussed with land owners during the development of detailed construction plans to determine the most efficient locations and willing land owners.

 Currently, Cypress Creek has long straight stretches of channel with heavy flows during precipitation, little or no surface flow in dry periods, and limited floodplain to mitigate flood events. Severe erosion is causing sloughing of streambanks, lowering of the creek bed, problems with culverts that pass under roads, and sand and sediment deposition. Floodplain and bottomland hardwood forest habitat, which are important for birds and mammals have also declined due to bank instability, erosion and bank sloughing. Wildlife habitat in Cypress Creek is poor and fish movement is limited. Collapsed road crossings have interrupted traffic flow in the area and required emergency repairs.

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties. Any comments received will be considered by the West Tennessee River Basin Authority and the Corps of Engineers to improve the quality of this report and to determine the overall public interest in the assessment.

 All of the project documents can be found at the following link: http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects/MemphisMetro.aspx

 If you wish to obtain additional information or submit comments on this proposal, please contact Marsha Raus (901/544-3455) at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Planning Branch, 167 N. Main St., Room B-202, Memphis, TN 38103-1894. Comments should be submitted by Feb. 22, 2016.