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: Walter Hasselman
221 Boulevard Apt. East
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5832
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Estero Bay. The project site is located at 26831 Hickory Boulevard, Section 30, Township 47 South, Range 25 East, City of Bonita Springs, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From US 41 & Bonita Beach Rd, drive west for 3.6 miles to the undeveloped lot on your right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 26.347092
Overall: To construct a two-family residential structure with a dock on Estero Bay
PROJECT HISTORY: On July 31, 2007, a standard permit was issued for the construction of a single-family residence and 731 square-foot dock at the project location. The permit authorized the permanent filling of 0.065 acre of tidal
wetlands, shading of 0.03 acre of tidal wetlands, and temporarily filling of 0.04 acre of tidal wetlands. The project did not commence prior to permit expiration on July 31, 2012.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of 0.3 acres of mangrove forest. The onsite vegetation consists of red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, black mangroves (Avicennia germinans), white mangroves (Laguncularia racemosa), and some buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of residential structures.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a two-family residence and dock. The project will fill approximately 0.11 acres of mangroves. No mangroves waterward of the Mean High Water Line (MHWL) will be removed.
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 project cannot avoid impacts to mangroves as the lot is 100% wetland vegetation. The impact to wetland vegetation has been minimized by using pilings to support part of the structure, only trimming mangroves when necessary waterward of the MHWL, and forgoing installation of a seawall.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
Unavoidable impacts will be mitigated by purchasing saltwater forested mitigation credits from the Little Pine Island 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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) 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). There will be no mangrove removal waterward of the Mean High Water Line and therefore impacted tidal wetlands are not accessible to the West Indian manatee, smalltooth sawfish, or swimming sea turtles. Use of the 2013 Programmatic Effect Determination Key for the manatee for the docking portion of the project resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D > G > H > I > N > O > P4 > May affect not likely to adversely affect with no further consultation required. Use of the 2010 Programmatic Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > Not likely to adversely affect with no further consultation required. The dock portion of the work may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the above-listed swimming sea turtles and smalltooth sawfish. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination 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 approximately 0.11 acres of mangrove wetlands utilized by various life stages of red drum, reef fish coastal migratory pelagic species, and shrimp. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in Estero Bay. 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 33919 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, FL 33919; 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.