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: Oscar Ronda Jr.
5230 SW 5th Street
Coral Gables, FL 33134
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project site is located at a developed single-family residential lot and would affect waters of the United States associated with a manmade canal, tributary to Lake Surprise and the Florida Bay. The project site is located at 453 Big Pine Road; legally described as LT 5 BK 12 LAKE SURPRISE ESTATES KEY LARGO PB4-162 in Section 31, Township 60 south, Range 40 east; Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida 33037 (RE# 00537180-000000).
Directions to the site are as follows: Take U.S. 1 South to MM106.3± Bayside, turn right onto Lake Surprise Road, turn right onto Largo Road, and turn left onto Big Pine Road; project is located on the right at 453 Big Pine Road, Key Largo.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic purpose is to improve boating access.
Overall: The overall purpose is to improve boating access for a single-family residence in Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Corps conducted a site assessment on January 13, 2017. The property is a developed residential lot with an existing rock retaining wall adjacent to a manmade canal. An unauthorized floating dock was observed on the shoreline; however, the applicant has indicated this structure will be removed. Macroalgae and leaf debri were observed along the rock retaining wall. No mangroves, seagrass or corals were observed within the assessment area. The project is located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary boundary.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to remove an existing floating dock; to install a new 60-linear foot (8-inch thick) corrugated fiberglass seawall an average of three (3) feet waterward of the existing rock retaining wall; to discharge 23.3± cubic yards (180± square feet) of clean backfill; to construct a new 655± square foot concrete marginal dock; to install a new 1,000 pound jet ski lift; to install a 12,000 pound elevator boatlift; and to temporarily deploy turbidity curtains for the duration of all in-water activities, in/over waters of the United States.
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: Turbidity screens will be deployed to isolate the construction site from ambient waters.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If it is determined that the issuance of a DA permit is appropriate, compensatory mitigation would be satisfied via a contribution to the Keys Restoration Fund, if applicable.
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 project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). The project site is within the species’ designated critical habitat. Potential and indirect impacts to the endangered West Indian manatee were evaluated using the Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 (key). Use of the key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G > N > O > P (4), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)” for the West Indian manatee, where no further consultation with the Service is necessary. This determination is partially based on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011.
The project is located within the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) designated critical habitat. By letter dated 28 October 2014, the FWS issued programmatic concurrence for projects in the Keys south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and State Road 905 in Key Largo. The letter states that projects located in this range are unlikely to adversely affect the American crocodile if it meets one or more of the listed criteria. By using the programmatic letter by paragraph 2, considering that the proposed project does not contain suitable nesting habitat that is accessible to the crocodile, the Corps’ initial determination is the project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the American crocodile and its critical habitat. Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, no further consultation with the Service is required.
The subject parcel is listed on the FWS 2011 Suitable Habitat List as being located within the 500 meter focus area buffer for the Key Largo cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus allapaticola). Potential impacts to the aforementioned species and its habitat were evaluated using the respective FWS Species Assessment Guides (SAGs) dated 29 July 2013. Use of the SAGs resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > F (2), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)” the cotton mouse. This determination is partially based on the proposal being for actions other than a new residence and the applicant being provided the cat brochure. The Corps received programmatic concurrence from the FWS for projects that have a “NLAA” determination; therefore, no incidental take will occur and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
The subject parcel is listed on the FWS 2011 Suitable Habitat List as being l located within the 500 meter focus area buffer for the Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli). Potential impacts to the aforementioned species and its habitat were evaluated using the respective FWS Species Assessment Guides (SAGs) dated 29 July 2013. Use of the SAGs resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > F (2), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)” the woodrat. This determination is partially based on the proposal being for actions other than a new residence and the applicant being provided the cat brochure. The Corps received programmatic concurrence from the FWS for projects that have a “NLAA” determination; therefore, no incidental take will occur and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), and the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) species. A no effect determination was reached on the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), loggerhead and smalltooth sawfish designated critical habitat, Acropora spp. (Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata) and its designated critical habitat, and listed coral species: pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), lobed star coral (Orbicella annularis), mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata), knobby star coral (Orbicella franksi), and rough cactus coral (Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act via separate letter
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 433± square feet of submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine life. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 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, Allyse Keel, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (305) 526-7184; or, by telephone at (305) 526-7183.
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 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.