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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

The USFWS’s Conservation Planning Assistance Program Protects the Federally Endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly from Increased Road Runoff

Region 3, November 5, 2012
Bioswales were among measures to reduce impacts of a road improvement project on endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly and its habitat.
Bioswales were among measures to reduce impacts of a road improvement project on endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly and its habitat. - Photo Credit: n/a
Infiltration trenches were also used to offset impacts of a road improvement project.
Infiltration trenches were also used to offset impacts of a road improvement project. - Photo Credit: n/a
Adult male Hine's emerald dragonfly.
Adult male Hine's emerald dragonfly. - Photo Credit: n/a

The Chicago Field Office worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Chicago District to protect the Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) from adverse impacts from a county road improvement project. The Will County Highway Department proposed to widen 135th Street and to realign the 135th Street and Archer Avenue intersection. The proposed project consisted of widening from two to four lanes (for 2.6 miles), intersection improvements, and other associated activities. The project will impact COE jurisdictional wetlands and waters of the United States. These impacts will occur at Long Run Creek and four unnamed tributaries to Long Run Creek. Long Run Creek flows into Long Run Creek Nature Preserve, just downstream of the road project. The nature preserve contains critical habitat for the Hine’s emerald dragonfly. In pre-application meetings with the COE and the Will County Highway Department, the Chicago Field Office informed both entities about our concern for increased water quantity, as a result of the increased impervious cover that would be added to the landscape, and its impact on the Hine’s emerald dragonfly and its critical habitat. We discussed our concerns about water quality impacts as well. After reviewing updated groundwater studies, we concluded that if the applicant incorporated infiltration best management practices throughout the length of the project, the project would not have an adverse effect on the endangered dragonfly. The group decided that bioswales and infiltration trenches would be effective infiltration BMPs. Stormwater will be routed from the impervious pavement into these BMPs to promote infiltration by offsetting the increase in stormwater runoff and to protect the Hine’s emerald dragonfly and its critical habitat downstream.

Contact Info: Shawn Cirton, 847-381-2253xt.236, shawn_cirton@fws.gov