Marble Falls Watershed Protection Environmental Investigations

Project Name: City of Marble Falls National Resources Conservation Service Emergency Watershed Protection Plan Environmental Investigations

Project Location: Marble Falls, Burnet County, Texas

Project Type: Environmental Investigations

Owner: City of Marble Falls

In 2021, the City of Marble Falls completed improvements to reduce bank and shoreline erosion and provide bank stabilization within Johnson and Lakeside Parks along segments of Backbone Creek near its confluence with Lake Marble Falls in Burnet County, Texas. The proposed improvements involved dredging, grading, and the use of sheet piling, stone riprap, and boulders for stream bank stabilization. Hicks & Company managed environmental compliance investigations for this emergency watershed protection project which involved federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP).  Following initial pedestrian survey and report preparation and submittal, the NRCS and Texas Historical Commission (THC) requested that construction activities within Construction Area (CA) 5 be monitored by an archeologist in the event previously unidentified archeological materials were exposed during construction activities. Monitoring efforts resulted in the discovery of a prehistoric site with an associated cultural feature and two test units (TUs) were subsequently excavated and tested, revealing a moderately dense prehistoric deposit that was not intact and could not provide new or important data regarding local prehistory. Based on these data, Hicks & Company recommended that no additional investigations were warranted, as no archeological historic property eligible for the NRHP or site warranting SAL designation has been impacted by the construction. Hicks & Company further recommended that given the disturbed nature of the cultural deposits due to erosion, no additional construction monitoring was warranted.