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) as described below:
APPLICANT: Prive at Island Estates
c/o Gary Cohen
2750 NE 185th Street, Suite 301
Aventura, FL 33160
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project site is an undeveloped portion of the Island Estates Development located at the southeast corner of the Island. in Section 17, Township 53 south, Range 40 east, Miami-Dade County, Florida (Folio #30-3017-001-0360).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Biscayne Blvd., turn east on NE 183rd Street. Make a left at Island Estates Drive. Continue to the second bridge and the site is located on the left hand side of the Island directly following the second bridge.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is the creation of a recreational beach area for the residents of the island.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the creation of a recreational beach area for the residents of the Prive’ at Island Estates development located within Dumfoundling Bay in Aventura, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The island is located within Dumfoundling Bay and are privately owned. The island is entirely above the mean high water line and is already bordered by rip rap. The wetland system consists of a coastal marsh system. The onsite vegetation consists of buttonwood, mangrove spp., sea grape, sea oxeye and Brazillian Pepper. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of Dumfoundling Bay and upland development.
PROPOSED WORK: The project includes filling a triangle shaped portion of an existing island with native sand material in order to create a beach environment for the residents. Specifically, the applicant seeks authorization to fill the approximately 0.13 acres of wetlands with 536 cubic yards of clean beach quality sand. The portion of the island to be filled is entirely above the mean high water line and is already bordered by riprap. The applicant proposes to raise the elevation of the 1-acre area by approximately 1 foot. No in water work is proposed. No fill will be placed outside of the existing rip rap armored shoreline.
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:
Although all of the wetlands on site are proposed for impacts, the ecological value of the area of wetlands is low. The proposed mitigation (see below) will provide greater long term ecological value than the area of wetlands to be impacted. The applicant will also avoid any in water activities and all work will be done from the existing uplands. The applicant is proposing to avoid several buttonwood and sea grape tress to maintain a vegetative buffer between the uplands and the beach area.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant is proposing to purchase saltwater federal credits at the FPL Everglades Mitigation Bank.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the proposal will not affect any federally threatened or endangered species or any designated critical habitat.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The project is located entirely within a coastal wetland area that has an armored shoreline and is above the mean high water line. Therefore, the proposed action would have no impact on EFH or Federally-managed fisheries within Biscayne Bay. The final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with NMFS.
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. The jurisdictional line has not been verified by Corps personnel.
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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 S.W. 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176 within 21 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, Albert Gonzalez, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 S.W. 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at Albert.Gonzalez@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (305) 526-7184; or, by telephone at (305) 779-6055.
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 US Army Corps of Engineers (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.