Sni-A-Bar Creek wetland and Stream mitigation Bank
Jackson County, Missouri
Swallowtail restored this roughly 70-acre mitigation bank adjacent to more than a mile of Sni-A-Bar Creek, which is a primary tributary of the Missouri River. This site previously consisted of two row crop fields and a moderately thin existing riparian forest along the stream. Some of the attributes of this property that made it a good candidate for restoration included its position in the floodplain partially protected by small levees, the long length of perennial streams along the periphery of the site, and the presence of poorly drained hydric soils. In addition, the observation of several small degraded wetlands existing in shallow depressions was a sign of the potential of this site to support a much greater amount of wetlands under the right conditions.
In order to improve water quality and wildlife habitat on the property, several activities were undertaken to restore the mitigation bank to its likely pre-settlement state. The riparian forest along Sni-A-Bar Creek was widened to 300 feet on one side and the same was done to roughly 750 linear feet of an unnamed perennial tributary. Additionally, the connection between the stream and its floodplain was enhanced by creating multiple breaches in two agricultural levees that regularly protected the farm fields from flooding. Roughly 27.5 acres of forested and herbaceous wetlands were established on the floodplain in order to provide water quality, wildlife habitat and flood abatement benefits.
The increase in quality and quantity of stream, riparian, and wetland ecosystems is being used as compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States throughout the Central Plains / Blackwater / Lamine Ecological Drainage Unit which includes the watersheds of the primary tributaries to the Missouri River from Kansas City to mid-Missouri.
Approved in 2009, this site is continuing to mature and progress through the appropriate stages of ecological succession that have been accelerated by Swallowtail’s planting of a diversity of early, mid- and late successional herbaceous and woody species throughout the site. After five years of monitoring this mitigation bank was determined to have met all of its performance standards and was declared fully successful. It provided 54 projects in the Kansas City area with compensatory mitigation, including for the police, U.S. Air Force, various cities and schools.