MENTOR MARSH: PLEASE HELP PROTECT THIS GEM OF LAKE COUNTY

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The .74 wetlands acre filled in (stories high) at Diamond Center by Shamrock Business Center (SBC) without a permit and for which SBC asks permission to maintain and fill in more acres of wetlands.  Photo (c) 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.

Development is an important component of a community’s long-term health and growth.  Development can exist side by side with healthy ecosystems if planning enacts options that have little or no negative impact on adjacent areas.

As proposed, Phase II of the development of Diamond Center upstream from the Marsh could have deleterious impacts on the Lake Erie/Mentor Marsh watershed. 

There are options, presently not under consideration, that could mitigate impacts of Phase II.

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 upstream from Blackbrook Creek, the Mentor Marsh and the entire Lake Erie/Mentor Marsh Watershed:

!.)  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 lend your voice to protect the voiceless, fragile ecosystem of the Mentor Marsh.

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     michael.w.smith@usace.army.mil

OR

Michael W. Smith

US Army Corps of Engineers,                                                           

Buffalo District, Regulatory Branch                                                                

1776 Niagara Street

Buffalo NY 14207-3199

 MUST INCLUDE:  Re. Application #1997-5010004

SUGGESTED INCLUSIONS:

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.      

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8 responses to “MENTOR MARSH: PLEASE HELP PROTECT THIS GEM OF LAKE COUNTY

  1. This area needs our help badly. I have been writing, emailing and calling since 1996 to stop the destruction that continues to this day. We have a larger voice now, and this is our last chance! Please help and write today!!!

  2. I would like to add also the site of this picture around 8 years ago was under mostly a few feet of water. An extensive beaver dam and wetland area encompassed it, with some channel water depths over 6 feet deep, so care had to be taken when wading into this amazing natural wetland area. Also some one had a canoe, that had been back there for years, and fish were plentiful. Then the area was drained quickly and plowed under…

  3. Eric–
    What you’ve written makes my heart hurt. How did we lit this happen?
    Carole

  4. These wetlands need protection! I find it sad to know that Shamrock Business Center (SBC) filled in an area of wetlands at Diamond Center without a permit. It is already hard enough for birds to find protection as it is and this is a nice birding area. Why risk harming the ecosystem and increase chances of flooding?

  5. Kelly esplandiu

    What can I do? This is horrible.

    • Kelly–

      You’ve asked the most constructive question I’ve yet received.
      There’s a current deadline for comments of Tuesday, May 14th. What you can do is this: Send the link to my blog to as many friends you think will take action. Then email the USACE, make your comments on the situation and then follow the 3 suggestions I’ve made: tell the USACE that you want your comments to appear in the public record, that you want them to extend the May 14th deadline for comments, and that you want a public hearing.
      I’ll send you my email address, & we’ll be able to stay in touch as things develop.

      Thank you for being there & for being you.

      Carole

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