Straughan provided services for a preliminary environmental and natural resources review and a preliminary cultural resource assessment in support of the City of Havre de Grace’s downtown restoration and streetscape improvement plan. Havre de Grace is located within an historic district and within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area and has mapped SAV habitat. Understanding the potential impacts to these resources was a critical part of the planning process.
Straughan conducted a field investigation to perform a wetland and waterways delineation to identify jurisdictional wetlands and other “waters of the US”, identifying the tidal system at the mean high water line and using a global positioning system to survey the locations of resource boundaries. As part of this field effort, we conducted a SAV survey to identify and determine the relative distribution of SAV species that inhabit the Susquehanna River within the project area. The project area is located within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area and the associated Critical Area Buffer. A field investigation to assess vegetative cover and to survey trees greater than two inches in diameter outside of forest areas was conducted. Results of the field surveys for wetlands and waterways, SAV habitat, and CBCA were included in a Natural Resources Memorandum with recommendations for next steps descriptions of the anticipated permitting process. The Susquehanna River, a fresh, tidal waterway, was identified within the project area and a total of 97 trees were identified and surveyed. A shoreline vegetation survey conducted in tandem with the SAV survey identified two tree species, three shrubs/woody vine species, and nine herbaceous species. Nine plots were taken as part of the SAV survey and a total of four different SAV species were found across all plots.
Additionally, Straughan developed a preliminary Area of Potential Effects (APE) based on the current design and accounting for possible visual effects associated with the improvements on buildings with the Havre de Grace Historical District. We identified historic and archaeological resources within the project area and assessed the potential for the project to affect historic resources as design moves forward. Straughan will work with the City, Maryland Historical Trust and other stakeholders to develop a design that is compatible with the Havre de Grace Historic District.