Red Jacket Natural Habitat Park Shoreline Restoration
Restoring the shoreline of Red Jacket Park is one of the final steps in a larger effort to improve habitat quality along a stretch of the Buffalo River that was designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern. The effort began with dredging to remove contaminated sediment from the river bottom. Once that effort was complete, the County Department of Environment and Planning hired Biohabitats, working as a subconsultant to Wendel, to restore Red Jacket Natural Habitat Park’s 800 linear feet of shoreline.
The overall goal of the project is to improve fish and wildlife habitat by creating a mosaic of escape and forage habitat and by restoring valuable shallow-water areas and their rich vegetation community. Biohabitats is leading the restoration design efforts and was responsible for completing an ecological assessment of the park, including an invasive species inventory. Biohabitats will also be responsible for planning the management and monitoring of the restoration.
A new series of bendway weirs along the shoreline will encourage the deposition of sediment and help restore the critical shallow-water habitat that was lost during the dredging. Submerged aquatic vegetation and emergent vegetation will then be planted to provide additional habitat. Large woody debris will be added in the shallows and existing constructed wetland to provide additional habitat for wildlife. In the riparian areas, invasive species will be treated and a “living” fence will be planted along the property lines to limit encroachment from adjacent invasives, while providing habitat and a native seed source.