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The Jacksonville District currently has five categories of public notice notification mailing lists. If you wish to receive email notifications when new public notices are added to this page, please send a request to Regulatory Webmaster.  Each category is described below. Be sure to specify which list(s) you want to be included on.

Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

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SAJ-1997-02451 (SP-LSL)

Posted: 11/8/2017

Expiration date: 12/7/2017


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:

APPLICANT: Wakulla County Administrator
c/o Mr. David Edwards
Post Office Box 1263
Crawfordville, Florida 32326

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States within the Gulf of Mexico. The existing reef site, 608 square feet by 608 square feet, is located in federal waters about 1.28 nautical miles (nm) beyond the state water boundary (9 nm). Water depth in these areas averages -27.3 ft. relative to mean low low water (MLLW).

COORDINATES:

Point Latitude Longitude
Northwest Corner 29.84119 -84.158881
Northeast Corner 29.84119 -84.154718
Southwest Corner 29.83756 -84.158881
Southeast Corner 29.83756 -84.156799
Center of reef 29.839374 -84.156799

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: Artificial reef development.

Overall: To re-authorize and expand an existing artificial reef with multiple deployments of approved materials in order to enhance the aquatic environment within the offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico, south of Wakulla County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: In 1986, the “Marker 24 Barge” sank unexpectedly off of Wakulla County. In 1987, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nautical chart indicated the wreck as a ‘dangerous wreck, depth unknown’ with 17’ of reported clearance. In 1997, Wakulla County with the Organization for Artificial Reefs (OAR) obtained a Corps permit for the site for artificial reef enhancements since this site was already known as a hazard for navigation for shrimpers and a popular location for anglers and divers. In 1999, Wakulla County received re-authorization. The existing reef site is described as 608 by 608 square foot area with an approximate depth of -27.3’ relative to MLLW. Coarse, sand bottom conditions dominate the substrate in the area with a subsurface layer of limestone bedrock just below the layer of sediment. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) reef database, in 1999, there were 3 previous deployments of reef materials along with spreading bridge rubble across the site. The site has 4 distinct patch reefs, 1 barge, and 3 concrete culvert reefs.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks a 10 year authorization to re-authorize and expand the Marker 24 Barge reef site. The expansion includes ¼ statue mile on a side to encompass 40 acres. The applicant is requesting a minimum navigational clearance of at least 17’ relative to MLLW. To ensure safe navigational clearance, no patch reef materials taller than 10’ would be allowed. In addition, there would be a 50’ buffer zone inside the site borders on all sides to ensure all reef materials would be deployed within the permitted zone. All reef materials would be consistent with the publication Guidelines for Marine Artificial Reef Materials, 2nd edition, the National Artificial Reef Plan, the state of Florida Artificial Reef Strategic Plan, and the OAR Artificial Reef Development Plan. Materials would be transported by barge or ship and deployed using a crane and placed in ‘patch reefs’ at 500’ intervals. Depending on funding, it is planned to have reef deployments about every 2 years allowing for the site to be built out within 10 years of permit issuance. During this 10 year period, 1,000 tons or 986 cubic yards of fill, i.e. reef materials, would be deployed.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:

The applicant selected sites that are devoid of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAVs) and where there are no natural rock outcrops or hard bottom formations.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:

Impacts to special aquatic sites are not proposed. Therefore, no compensatory mitigation is proposed.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect swimming sea turtles, including green turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate), Kemp’s Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), and Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

The Corps has determined, based on the use of The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (April 2013), that the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee with the inclusion of conditions a, b, c, d, and e of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-water Work (2011).

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The proposal would impact approximately 40 acres of unconsolidated bottom in the Gulf of Mexico which may be utilized by various life stages of species within the following Fisheries Managements Plans (shrimp, reef fish, stone crab and coastal migratory pelagics). Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a minor adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Panama City Permits Section, 1002 West 23rd Street, Suite 350, Panama City, Florida 32405 within 30 days from the date of this notice.

The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.

QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Mrs. Lisa S. Lovvorn, in writing at the Panama City Permits Section, 1002 West 23rd Street, Suite 350, Panama City, Florida 32405; by electronic mail at lisa.s.lovvorn@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (850)872-0231; or, by telephone at (850)763-0717, extension 27.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food, and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act of the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other Interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board, in the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.

Jacksonville District permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE. Wakulla County