Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

November 24, 2009

Contacts:  Laura Archuleta 719-655-6121

 

Proposed Actions to Restore Migratory Bird Habitats Impacted

 by the Shattuck  Superfund Site. 

Document Available for Public Comment

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today the availability of the Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (RP/EA) regarding proposed restoration actions within the South Platte River watershed.  The Service, on behalf of the Department of the Interior, is proposing these actions to address known and potential impacts to migratory birds and their South Platte River habitats resulting from environmental contaminants released from the Shattuck Superfund Site located in southwest Denver.

 

The long-defunct Shattuck Chemical facility operated from 1917 to 1984.  The company processed radium, uranium, molybdenum, rhenium and other heavy metals.  These operational activities resulted in releases of hazardous substances from the site to South Platte River watershed environments.  The Shattuck site is designated as Operable Unit 8 of the Denver Radium Superfund site.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed Denver Radium on the National Priorities (Superfund) List on September 8, 1983.

 

The proposed actions covered in this RP/EA outline projects that would be performed at Overland Pond Park in the Denver metro area and on private lands along the South Platte River on Colorado’s eastern plains. 

 

Restoration actions to be implemented at Overland Pond Park will restore native plant communities surrounding Overland Pond and the adjacent South Platte River riparian habitat; provide improvements within the park to enhance educational opportunities that emphasize migratory birds; and incorporate volunteer efforts to include the community in the restoration efforts.  The Greenway Foundation will provide overall management, supervision, and coordination for the Overland Pond Park project, and will serve as project lead for Denver Parks and Recreation as landowner. 

 

Wildlife habitat improvement along the urban river corridor will restore aquatic, riparian, wetland and terrestrial habitats to benefit migratory birds - waterfowl, shorebirds, passerine songbirds and raptors - and increase healthy bird populations to, or hopefully exceeding, the levels prior to the hazardous chemical releases.  The restored habitat will also provide enhanced opportunities for citizens to engage in wildlife-related activities such as bird-watching, volunteering, and learning about the river ecosystem.

 

Restoration actions on the eastern plains will restore and enhance multiple types of wetland habitats that especially improve spring and fall stop-over migration habitats and breeding habitats for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and wetland-dependent songbird species.

 

The Service is soliciting information from all interested parties regarding the draft RP/EA.  Written comments should be sent to Laura Archuleta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Saguache Field Office, 46525 Highway 114, Saguache, CO 81149.  Comments may also be sent via electronic mail to Laura_Archuleta @fws.gov.  All comments and scientific information must be received by December 23, 2009.

 

Copies of the Draft RP/EA will be available for review at the Decker and Athmar branches of the Denver Public Library and at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Colorado Field Office (134 Union Boulevard, Suite 670).  The draft document is also available on the Service’s internet web site at:

http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/nrda/Shattuck/index.html

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

 

-FWS-