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Environmental Review Toolkit


Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives — 2011

New York: Route 15 Post Creek Wetland Mitigation Collaboration

Developed by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition (U.S.C.), this project supports wetland mitigation measures and watershed protection efforts in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. In addition to the required mitigation area, the interagency partnership preserved 114 acres of bottomland wetland, forested land, and a cold-water trout fishery.

NYSDOT developed the Post Creek mitigation site, located along State Route 414 (SR 414) in Hornby, New York, to compensate for environmental impacts resulting from the U.S. Route 15/I-99 Improvement Project in Steuben County, New York. The SR 414 location serves as one of several wetland mitigation sites stemming from this road improvement project and supports 5.25 acres of newly-created wetlands. Collectively, the sites establish 12.35 acres of new wetlands.

The Post Creek site initially served as an alternative for the U.S. Route 15/I-99 project. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project originally identified three potential mitigation sites. However, further investigation found that two were not feasible options. As 5.25 acres of wetland mitigation were still needed, NYSDOT sought a new site to meet this requirement and arrived at the decision that Post Creek would be ideal.

NYSDOT worked with U.S.C. to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to comply with regulatory permits. This MOU specifically identifies the Post Creek site as one fitting the wetland mitigation requirements. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation assisted in this process by modifying permits to support this partnership. NYSDOT also worked with the Chemung Valley Conservancy to purchase the designated Post Creek mitigation area and establish a mechanism for long-term management and maintenance.

The Post Creek site hosts five new acres of emergent marsh and one-quarter acre of forested wetland along with other native plantings and seed mixtures that further establish wetland features. Along with the required wetland mitigation, NYSDOT received a permanent conservation easement for 114 acres surrounding the Post Creek site to preserve and protect the watershed. Through collaboration and innovation, NYSDOT's wetland mitigation efforts successfully promote environmental stewardship and ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation.

For more information, contact Tom Markel, NYSDOT, at

Photograph of the creation of a wetland. In the foreground are six geese at the edge of a pond. In the background is a large backhoe.

Figure 1. NYSDOT created 5.25 acres of new wetlands as part of the Post Creek wetland mitigation project.
Source: New York State Department of Transportation

Photograph of a section of a large rural field that has been plowed as a beginning stage of wetland creation

Figure 2. The beginning stages of wetland creation.
Source: New York State Department of Transportation