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SAJ-2015-03153 (MLH)

Posted: 2/8/2018

Expiration date: 3/10/2018

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received a complete prospectus proposing the establishment of a mitigation bank pursuant to the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources regulations (33 CFR Part 332) as described below:

                       3521 Legacy Hills Ct
                       Longwood, FL 32779

LOCATION: The proposed project, identified as the 242.45-acre Green Wing Mitigation Bank (GWMB), is located near the town of Scottsmoor; within Sections 27, 34, and 35 of Township 26 south, and Range 26 east, Brevard County, Florida. Further described, the project site is situated directly across the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) from the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR). Portions of the MINWR are also located on the west shore of the IRL and abut the GWMB property. The location map is included as Figure 1, attached to this public notice.

                                                                          Longitude: -80.8512°W

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY: Pursuant to 33 CFR 332.8(d)(4), the Corps has posted a full copy of the GWMB prospectus online so that it is available for review by the public. The prospectus may be downloaded from the Regulatory In-Lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) at web address: https://ribits.usace.army.mil.

Once on the RIBITS homepage, select "Jacksonville" from the "ALL DISTRICTS" drop down menu located in the lower left corner of the screen. Once the district filter has been selected, click on the “Banks & ILF Sites” link located in the Navigation box (upper left corner). This will generate a list of projects, scroll down the list and click on the “Green Wing MB” link. On this page, click on the "Cyber Repository" link located on the menu bar above the General Information box, then click on the Prospectus Documents folder to access the prospectus associated with the GWMB project.

If you are unable to access the web address, a copy of the prospectus is available upon request to the project manager listed at the end of this public notice.

PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The applicant seeks authorization to bank generated wetland credits that could be used to offset impacts to wetland impacts in the final approved Mitigation Service Area. The overall primary ecological goal of the GWMB is to restore, reconnect and permanently protect the hydrology and wildlife habitat of 242.45 acres of wetland habitats and adjacent upland buffer habitats while increasing the wetland function on a watershed level. Specific restoration objectives as further noted in Table 1 and Figures 5, 12, and 13, affixed at the end of this public notice, include:

• Hydrological enhancement through the regrading of portions of the levee and canal system and reconnection of the impounded waters with the IRL.
• Treatment and control of nuisance and exotic vegetation.
• Reconnection of historic tidal creek systems.
• Rehabilitation of saltwater habitat.
• Preservation of all 242.45 acres of rehabilitated/re-established wetland habitat.

ECOLOGICAL SUITABILITY OF THE SITE: Information provided by the applicant indicate the following:

With the exception of the levees, all onsite habitat, shown on Figure 2, attached to this public notice, is either salt marsh, coastal hydric hammock, mangrove, ditches/canals, impoundments, ponds, or tidal flats.

Historically, the site was ecologically identical to the adjacent marshes and coastal hydric hammock to the north. Its hydrology was primarily supplied by the ebb and flow of IRL waters. Occasionally, it received stormwater sheet flow following strong rainfall events. However, beginning with the installation of the Florida East Coast railway (FEC) around 1893, the site experienced changes in freshwater flow patterns through the excavation of drainage ditches that exist to this day.

Additionally, the salt marsh areas within the GWMB were contained within two newly created mosquito impoundments around 1960, which appear to have created the greatest impact on the hydrology and ecology of the salt marshes. It effectively cut off the marsh areas from the IRL, resulting in a drop in salinity and a rise in water levels. In 1991, a study was conducted that found cattails had invaded the T-4 impoundment and covered approximately 70 percent of the area. The same study found only five species of fish within the impoundments. This is likely attributable to the drop in salinity and lack of connectivity of the impoundments. Subsequently, several culverts and a pump were installed to arrest and reverse the trend toward freshwater marshes. These improvements seemed to work well in that cattails were nearly eradicated in a short amount of time. However, these efforts were ceased a few years later. Now the flapgate culverts are no longer operable and remain closed. The result is a gradual return to freshwater-like conditions unlike the saline conditions that existed historically.

ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE BANK: The proposed GWMB would be established and operated by Green Wing, LLC, as the Sponsor with the assistance of Bio-Tech Consulting, Inc. The property that comprises the GWMB is owned by Green Wing, LLC. The GWMB is proposed to be established as a single and complete project. Following GWMB successful implementation and attainment of final success criteria, long-term management activities will be implemented in order to ensure the sustainability of GWMB. In addition, the Sponsor will provide sufficient financial assurances to ensure construction and long-term management of the proposed GWMB.

PROPOSED SERVICE AREA: The project is located entirely within the Cape Canaveral watershed (HUC No. 03080202). The Applicant proposes a Mitigation Service Area (MSA) that includes the entirety of the Cape Canaveral HUC as well as the Daytona – St. Augustine (HUC No. 03080201) and the Vero Beach (HUC No.
03080203. The GWMB MSA is anticipated to include wetland habitat communities that could reasonably be expected to occur on the GWMB. This area is shown on Figure 6, attached to the end of this public notice.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: No information has been provided regarding onsite cultural resources. Project review will, however, include review of the site for potential cultural resources.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The site will be reviewed for potential critical habitat and presence of endangered species. The findings will be coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): The project proposal will be coordinated with the pertinent federal agencies to minimize the risk for any potential impact to EFH.

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.

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.

COMMENTS: Comments regarding the proposed mitigation bank should be submitted in writing to the District Engineer at the address below within 30 days from the date of this notice.

The initial evaluation pertaining to whether or not this mitigation bank proposal has the potential for providing compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by issued Department of the Army permits will be based on the information contained in the prospectus, received from this public notice and obtained during an inspection of the project site.

If you have questions concerning this proposal, you may contact Ms. Marie L. Huber by electronic mail at Marie.L.Huber@usace.army.mil, by fax at 904-232-1904, or by telephone at 904-232-1683 or at the following address:

P. O. BOX 4970

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: After the end of the comment period, the district engineer will review all comments received and make an initial determination as to the potential of the proposed project to provide compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits. That determination 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. Factors relevant to the proposal will be considered including 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.

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 proposed activity. All comments received will be considered by the Corps during the formulation of the initial determination of potential for the proposed activity.

Brevard County Jacksonville District mitigation bank public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE