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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Roberts Development Corporation
Donald R. DeLuca, Vice President
7290 College Parkway, Suite 400
Fort Myers, FL 33907
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Punta Rassa Cove. The project site is located at 14341 Port Comfort road in Section 10, Township 45 South, Range 23 East, Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From McGregor Boulevard turn right onto Port Comfort Road. Project is located on the left and right of Port Comfort Road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 26.490669º
Basic: Marina reconfiguration including additional dry storage
Overall: Marina reconfiguration including additional dry storage at Port Sanibel Marina
PROJECT HISTORY: A Corps Letter of Permission was issued on April 17, 1995 for the replacement of an existing 1315 square foot dock, 930 square foot harbormasters’ office and 58 foot seawall with 26 cubic yards of riprap. Additionally the authorization included maintenance dredging at the base of the existing boat ramp. A standard permit was issued on November 19, 1996, which authorized the construction of 49 additional slips, 1 floating dock, 1 canoe launch area and the replacement of an existing 97 foot wood seawall with a concrete seawall. In addition, the permit authorized the dredging of 3.0 acres of submerged lands within the access channel and 3.76 acres of the existing boat basin. A modification was issued on June 11, 1998 for additional dredging within the location of Dock A and the associated access channel to a depth of -5.0 NGVD.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: Port Sanibel is an existing marina with both wet and dry storage. In the area of work, Dock G, there is currently 1,360 square feet of existing overwater structures. The entire marina contains 87 permanent wet slips, 13 temporary wet slips, and 133 dry slips.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to redesign Dock G to facilitate construction of a 20’ x 29’ (580 sf.) forklift launch pad, supported by twenty four (24) 18” square pre-cast concrete pilings, by removing four existing finger piers and the main access dock (1,360 sf.). It will be replaced with a similar 6’ x 130’ (780 sf.) fixed wood dock in a different alignment supported by (28) 10” diameter CCA treated wood piling installed by jetting in place to approximately 90% penetration then driving the piles the final 10%, using a gravity drop hammer, to final bearing. An additional 8’ x 120’ (960 sf.) floating dock, anchored by (4) 14” square pre-cast concrete piling installed using an impact hammer will be added between docks G & H in order to accommodate 10 temporary slips for dry storage staging. Access to the floating dock will be via a 5’ x 30’ aluminum ramp. Eight (8) of the existing wet slips at Dock G (slips G5-G12) will be converted to dry storage. The 10 temporary slips are 13’ x 30’. The total square footage of overwater structures associated with the reconfigured Dock G will be 2,850 square feet. The proposed number of permanent wet slips will be 79; proposed number of temporary wet slips will be 23; and the total number of dry storage slips will be 313.
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 has avoided mangrove removal in the area of the proposed forklift launch pad and will only perform trimming if necessary. Additionally, rather than placing riprap in shallow euryhaline waters within the designated critical habitat of the smalltooth sawfish, the applicant is proposing an upland retaining wall to stabilize the shoreline in this area. The applicant has agreed to utilize best management practices during all phases of construction to prevent turbidity. Additionally, the applicant has agreed to adhere to the 2011 Standard Manatee Construction Conditions for In-water Work as well as the 2006 Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
There are no resource impacts proposed and therefore no mitigation is required.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined the activity is of such limited scope there is little likelihood of impact upon a historic property; therefore, the proposed project would have “No Potential to Cause Effect”.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat, smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) or its designated critical habitat, Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii). Use of the 2013 Manatee Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D> G> H > I > J > K > N > O > P1> May affect not likely to adversely affect with no further consultation required. This determination is based on the applicant agreeing to purchase the necessary slip transfer credits (172) in order to comply with the Lee County Manatee Protection Plan. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with their determinations for the smalltooth sawfish and swimming sea turtles pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 an additional 1490 square feet (overwater structures) of unvegetated bottom approximately utilized by various life stages of red drum, reef fish, and coastal migratory pelagic species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries at Port Sanibel Marina. 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. The jurisdictional line has 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 Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 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, Bri McGuffie, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida, 33910; by electronic mail at Brianne.E.McGuffie@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (239) 334-0797; or, by telephone at (239) 334-1975 x0006.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: 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.
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 or 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 determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. 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.