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Joint EHEI/EEI Recognition

Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank Project and Fox Point State Park Expansion

New Castle County, Delaware

Before and After photos of the Glenville community and bank mitigation project.

The Glenville project was managed by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT). The project initially met two primary needs: it rescued a community desperately in need of help with flooding problems that posed immediate health and safety concerns; and provided DelDOT with wetland mitigation banking credits for use on anticipated projects in northern New Castle County. The use of the Glenville Mitigation Site resulted from the DelDOT Glenville Reinvestment Project Initiative after multiple storm events caused widespread flooding and damage to roads, buildings and structures in the Glenville community.

Using Federal, State, and county funds, the project involved the purchase and demolition of 158 homes all within the 100 year floodplain of Red Clay Creek. After hurricane flooding in mid-September 2003, 145 out of the 194 homes in the community were ruled unsafe. Many homeowners would have been left without a means to find another home due to the unacceptable timeframe of sending checks to homeowners from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and a lack of relocation assistance through FEMA. Governor Ruth Minner decided that the State of Delaware would take the lead and worked with New Castle County, FHWA and multiple state government agencies to secure the $36 million needed to carry out the purchase, demolition, and relocation of the neighborhood. The project became a joint agency effort to aid the residents as well as assess the feasibility of the potential use of Glenville for flood reduction. The data collected revealed that the site's characteristics would provide flood storage for large storm events and the site was also conductive as a wetland habitat and as an important location for the creation of wildlife habitat to minimize habitat fragmentation and provide an area of refuge for important wildlife species.

The Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank - Fox Point State Park Expansion Project was chosen for this nomination because of its teamwork, leadership, ingenuity, innovation, and outstanding task completion with major cost savings to the taxpayers of Delaware. It created the first, large wetland mitigation bank in the State and helped to achieve a major State park expansion. The project was able to save the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) $2.5 million in material costs and DelDOT saved $500,000 in disposal costs. The citizens of Delaware saved $3 million as well as obtaining a new park, flood mitigation, and a new housing community along the Red Clay Creek area. The Glenville project will become one of the few urban wetland banks in the country. It will create 22 acres of wetlands, restore 26 acres of wetlands, and create a 20 acre buffer. The expanded Fox Point Park will provide new parking, restroom facilities, trails, a scenic overlook, and landscaping. Visitors to the park will have access to over 55 acres along the Delaware River that will be suitable for walking, jogging, biking, and picnicking. The success of the Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank and Fox Point State Park Expansion projects depended on open communication, innovative ideas, strong leadership, clear organizational goals, a focus on team goals, and agency collaboration.

Awards:
The Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank - Fox Point State Park Expansion Project received the Governors Excellence Award of 2008 and was announced as the recipient of the 2009 FHWA Environmental Excellence Award in the Ecology, Habitat and Wildlife category. The projects help to sustain and restore a natural system and their functions and values; develop two resource locations within a landscape context; use the best available science in ecosystem and habitat conservation; and provide a clear example of innovative environmental solutions by a transportation agency in collaboration with the State's environmental resource agency.

Updated: 07/11/2012
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