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Environmental Division -
Environmental Technical Studies Office

Ecology Section Wetland Mitigation And Wetland Banking Program

James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0334
Phone: 615.253.2472
Fax: 615.741.1098

Mike Williams, Supervisor

 

Madison Wetlands

MADISON COUNTY WETLAND MITIGATION BANK

Madison County Wetland Mitigation Bank: Once a bottomland hardwood forest along the South Fork Forked Deer River (SFFDR), the majority of this 778-acre site was cleared for agricultural production. With the aim of making the site dry enough to farm and to prevent floodwaters from reaching the site, a large levee and a series of drainage ditches were constructed. To facilitate removing water from the site, the landowner installed two large pumps in the interior borrow ditch, which pumped water out of the site and into a drainage ditch that flowed to the SFFDR.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) purchased this site in 1996 and began efforts to restore the hydrology of the site. The interior drainage ditches were filled, the large pumps removed and the levee was breached in a number of locations to allow floodwater to more freely enter and leave the site. In addition, a meandering stream channel was constructed through the site to mimic features present prior to the site being converted to agricultural production. Following restoration of the hydrology to the site, five species of oaks as well as cypress seedlings were planted at the site.

Currently, the site is much wetter than intended; resulting in a high mortality rate of planted tree seedlings, and significant scouring has occurred at several of the levee breaches. To rectify these problems, TDOT will remove the remainder of the levee that surrounds the site beginning in July 2005.

Obion Wetland Mitigation Bank

OBION WETLAND MITIGATION BANK, OBION COUNTY

Obion Wetland Mitigation Bank: Once a bottomland hardwood forest, this 367-acre site was cleared for agricultural production following channelization of the Obion River in the 1960s by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, part of a larger project referred to as the West Tennessee Tributaries Project. To enhance drainage and to prevent floodwaters from reaching the site, levees and a series of drainage ditches were constructed. To facilitate removing water from the site, the landowner installed a large pump in the southwest corner of the property, which pumped water out of the site and into an unnamed tributary of the Obion River.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), purchased this site in 2003 and TWRA began efforts to restore the site. Prior to restoration of the hydrology to the site, seven species of oaks as well as cypress and water tupelo seedlings were planted throughout. Then the interior drainage ditches were filled and the levees were breached or totally removed to allow floodwater to more freely enter and leave the site.


MUD CREEK WETLAND MITIGATION SITE, CARROLL COUNTY

Mud Creek Wetland Mitigation Site: The mitigation site, approximately 8 acres in size, is adjacent to Mud Creek, a tributary stream to the Big Sandy River. Mud Creek is located on the northern boundary of the site and a smaller tributary stream flows into Mud Creek along the western boundary of the mitigation site. Prior to restoration, the majority of the site was actively farmed. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) purchased this site in 1996 and began efforts to restore the hydrology of the site, including construction of a sinuous channel designed to mimic a small oxbow lake. Following restoration of the hydrology to the site, six species of oaks as well as cypress and water tupelo seedlings were planted at the site.

BIG CREEK WETLAND MITIGATION SITE, SHELBY COUNTY

Big Creek Wetland Mitigation Site: This wetland mitigation site, originally 35 acres in size, is located in the floodplain of an unnamed tributary stream to the Big Creek Drainage Canal. The unnamed tributary stream now flows in a channeled ditch along the northern boundary of the mitigation site. Forested wetlands remain along the original, meandering stream channel and in other areas that remained too wet to cultivate. The majority of the area between the channeled ditch and the meandering stream channel were ditched to facilitate drainage and actively farmed prior to construction of SR-385. The remnant tributary channel, which bisects the initial mitigation site, has minimal flow except during high water events and functions primarily as an oxbow system. Shortly after construction began on the initial mitigation site, beavers constructed several dams within the site, the largest of which is located along the power-line right-of-way along the western boundary of the mitigation site. Due to the construction of the beaver dams, the majority of the mitigation site was flooded before all areas could be planted with trees; presently, water depth within the mitigation site ranges from one to three feet over a large portion of the site, with some hummocks high enough to remain above water. The beavers have also constructed a lodge within the southwestern portion of the mitigation site.

 

SPRING CREEK WETLAND MITIGATION SITE, WEAKLEY COUNTY

Spring Creek Wetland Mitigation Site: This 20-acre wetland mitigation site is located in the floodplain of Spring Creek, a tributary stream to the Middle Fork Obion River. Due to the fact that Spring Creek is a channelized stream from its confluence with the Middle Fork Obion River to near its headwaters, a meandering, shallow water retention basin was developed within the site. The purpose of the basin is to mimic, to some degree, the wetland that historically occurred along Spring Creek’s original meandering channel. The basin, along its centerline, is approximately 3,000 feet long, and at full pool approximately 30 feet wide and 4.5 feet deep. Overland runoff from the east and northeast, along with precipitation on site, is ponded in the water retention basin. In addition, over-bank flooding from Spring Creek is a major source of hydrology for the site and a natural source of aquatic species that now populate the retention basin. Beavers have constructed a lodge within the mitigation site, which is located in the southern portion of the excavated basin, near Spring Creek.

SUGAR CREEK WETLAND MITIGATION SITE, CHESTER COUNTY

 

Sugar Creek Wetland Mitigation Site: This wetland mitigation site, approximately 22 acres in size, is located in the floodplain of the original, meandering stream channel of Sugar Creek. A tributary to the South Fork Forked Deer River, Sugar Creek now flows in a channeled ditch near the west end of the mitigation site. The remnant Sugar Creek channel, which bisects the mitigation site, has minimal flow, averages four feet wide and has a channel depth of three to four feet. In 2003, beavers constructed two dams on this remnant stream channel, increasing the water depth two-three feet and creating an open water area in the central portion of the site. The beavers have also constructed a lodge within the mitigation site. The site consists of field habitat planted in six species of oaks as well as bald cypress seedlings. In addition, two species of shrubs, buttonbush and swamp hibiscus were planted throughout the site.

SOMERVILLE WETLAND MITIGATION SITE, FAYETTE COUNTY

 

Somerville Wetland Mitigation Site: This 80-acre wetland mitigation site is located along the Loosahatchie River, a largely channelized system, with a majority of the site located between the river and an abandoned railroad bed. Forested and scrub-shrub wetlands remain along a small stream channel that flows through the site and in other areas that were too wet to cultivate. The remainder of the area between the river and the railroad bed were ditched to facilitate drainage and actively farmed. Hydrologic restoration of this site included filling the drainage ditches, plugging a levee breach and constructing a water control structure on the small stream that flows through the site. The water control structure, referred to as a straight-drop stilling basin, was designed to allow for the manipulation of water levels within the mitigation site as well as provide a means of maintaining flow from the mitigation site to the Loosahatchie River, a drop of six to eight feet.

CROSSVILLE WETLAND MITIGATION SITE, CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Crossville Wetland Mitigation Site: This 53-acre mitigation site is located in the floodplain of Black Drowning Creek, a tributary to the Obed River. Forested wetlands remain along an unnamed tributary stream located at the southeastern portion of the site while the remaining 18 acres of the site is classified as an emergent wetland that was once used as a pasture for cattle. The grazing activity of the cattle, as well as occasional mowing, maintained this portion of the site as an emergent wetland. There are a number of notable plant species found at this site, including the carnivorous sundew.

LAKEWOOD WETLAND MITIGATION SITE, DAVIDSON COUNTY

Lakewood Wetland Mitigation Site: This 16-acre wetland is located near the Cumberland River, situated between a residential area and an undeveloped portion of the riverbank. Classified as a temporarily to semi-permanently flooded, forested/scrub-shrub wetland on the National Wetland Inventory (NWI) map, beaver activity has transformed this wetland into a permanently flooded, open water site. The trees and shrubs that once dominated the site have died, a result of the site being permanently flooded, or were cut down by the beaver. TDOT is currently working to donate this site to the City of Lakewood; the mitigation site will be combined with a 62-acre parcel recently purchased by the City of Lakewood for use as an open-space park and greenway.