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: Miami-Dade County
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces
c/o Jack Kardys
275 NW 2nd Street, 4th Floor
Miami, FL 33128
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Biscayne Bay. The project is located within the Haulover Marina at 13700 Collins Avenue, in Section 23, Township 52 south, Range 42 east, Unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida (Folio Number 30-2214-008-0010).
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95, exit on east bound NE 167 St. Continue east to Collins Ave., approximately 6 miles. Turn south on Collins Avenue. Entrance to Haulover Marina is approximately 2 miles south, on the west side of Collins Ave.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Longitude: - 80.12499°
Basic: The basic project purpose is vessel access to fueling facility.
Overall: The overall project purpose is vessel access to fueling facility in Biscayne Bay, Unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The upland areas adjacent to the west of the project site consist of an existing marina facility and associated parking area. The shoreline is consolidated and consists of an existing concrete seawall and bulkhead cap. The shoreline towards the southern portion of the project area is lined with riprap consisting of limerock boulders. A benthic survey performed by Miami-Dade County DERM on December 8, 2016 revealed that the submerged bottom is comprised of sandy substrate with no seagrasses documented on-site. However, small encrusting corals were documented on the riprap adjacent to the area of the proposed work.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization for the installation of 2,291 square feet of floating docks, 265.4 square feet of fixed platforms, and associated gangways for an over-water extension of the existing upland fueling facility at Haulover Park. The structures will be supported by 22 concrete piles and will accommodate a maximum of 6 vessels. Temporary turbidity curtains will be deployed and remain in place for the duration of all in-water activities in/over waters of the United States. The work is proposed in accordance with the attached site plans.
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 proposed docks are designed so that the waterward edge of the docks has depths of at least 4 feet (MLW). This will avoid prop or scour damage to the existing bay bottom.
The proposed docks will be floating structures that will not affect the flow of water or cause harmful erosion or shoaling. Navigation impacts will be positive, since the proposed docks will provide access to an existing fueling facility.
Turbidity curtains will be deployed prior to construction to minimize turbidity during construction. The fueling facility has materials available to control oil spills.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“Although the project area contains negligible benthic resources, the applicant proposes the placement of riprap boulders onsite as compensatory mitigation for shading impacts associated with the docking facility. Riprap boulders will offset impacts by providing new habitat for benthic resources within the project area.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined the permit area 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), Johnson’s Seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) and designated critical habitat, green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus), Elkhorn/Staghorn Corals (Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata) and 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 has determined that the proposed project would cause the following effects on federally listed species:
West Indian Manatee: The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” the West Indian Manatee. Potential impacts were evaluated using the Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (Key) dated April 2013. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A > B > C > G > H > I > J > K > N > O > P (1), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” the manatee, and no further consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required. This determination is based on the applicant providing consistence with the Manatee Protection Plan by Miami-Dade County and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Furthermore, the application will follow the standard Manatee construction conditions for the proposed activity, which are reiterated as special permit conditions.
American Crocodile: Although the site is within the American Crocodile Consultation Area, there is not suitable habitat for the species. Therefore, the Corps has made a “no effect” determination” for the species.
Johnson’s Seagrass: A benthic survey performed by Miami-Dade County DERM on December 8, 2016 revealed that the submerged bottom is comprised of sandy substrate with no seagrasses documented on-site. Therefore, the corps reached a “no effect” determination on Johnson’s seagrass.
Green Sea Turtles, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Hawksbill Sea Turtles, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, Leatherback Sea Turtles, Smalltooth Sawfish, and Johnson’s Seagrass critical habitat: Green Sea Turtles, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Hawksbill Sea Turtles, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, Leatherback Sea Turtles, And Smalltooth Sawfish may be affected by being temporarily unable to use the site for forage or refuge habitat due to potential avoidance of installation activities and related noise. In addition, the site is located within Johnson’s Seagrass critical habitat. Based on the above information, the Corps has reached a “MANLAA” determination for the swimming sea turtles, Smalltooth Sawfish, and Johnson’s Seagrass critical habitat.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle designated critical habitat: The property is not located within loggerhead sea turtle critical habitat. Therefore, a “no effect” determination has been reached for Loggerhead Sea Turtle critical habitat.
Nassau Grouper: The juvenile grouper lives in dense mature seagrass beds and there is no seagrasses at the project site. The mature fish live in deep water near coral reefs. Although small encrusting corals were documented on the existing riprap adjacent to the area of the proposed work, the site does not support coral reefs that could be used as potential habitat by the Nassau grouper. In addition, the grouper is a highly mobile species and any construction noise will cause them to leave the area; therefore, the Corps has made a “no effect” determination for the Nassau grouper.
Elkhorn/Staghorn Coral, Pillar Coral, Lobed Star Coral, Mountainous Star Coral, Knobby Star Coral, or Rough Cactus Coral: The corals observed on-site are not listed as threatened or endangered (i.e. Elkhorn/Staghorn Coral, Pillar Coral, Lobed Star Coral, Mountainous Star Coral, Knobby Star Coral, or Rough Cactus Coral). Furthermore, the project is not located within Elkhorn/Staghorn critical habitat. Therefore, a “no effect” determination was reached on Elkhorn/Staghorn corals, including designated critical habitat, and the five other listed species of corals.
The Corps has determined the proposal will not affect any other threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat other that the species listed above.
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
2,556.4 square feet of submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have an adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries. 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 not been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: A 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 Southwest 107the 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, Nicole Fresard, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at Nicole.D.Fresard@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (305)526-7184; or, by telephone at (305)779-6053.
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.