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: Seaside Landings Homeowners Association, Inc.
Attn: Mr. John Patten
110 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 404
Naples, FL 34102
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (including wetlands) associated with two unnamed man-made canals, both contiguous with the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW). The project site is located at 2801 John Anderson Highway within portions of Sections 19 and 37, Township 12 South, Range 32 East; and, Sections 24 and 38, Township 12 South, Range 31 East, Flagler County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 29.446289°
Basic: The basic project purpose is improved access to navigable waters through the establishment of a 22-slip marina and the implementation of dredge operations.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the establishment of a 22-slip private marina and improved access to navigable waters for future residents of the Seaside Landings subdivision.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area includes aquatic habitat associated with two man-made canals and the IWW. In 1962, a previous owner of the overall property excavated the canals to a depth of 14 feet and a width of 100 feet. The present day canal bottoms have sloughed and filled in to depths between -4 to -6 feet NAVD88; and, the sides of the canals have eroded leaving the canals between 120 to 170 feet wide in places. The shoreline vegetation along the canals primarily includes Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), and saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia). The tidal shoreline consists of detrital muck, which sharply transitions to the canal bottom approximately 4 to 6 feet deep. The tidal range within the canal is slightly more than 1 foot total between mean high water and mean low water conditions. This, along with the sharp elevation transition due to the man-made nature of the canal, is not conducive for the establishment of saltmarsh and/or submerged aquatic vegetation. However, sand accumulation at the mouth of each canal has provided appropriate elevations within the tidal range and appropriate sediment type for establishment of the small saltmarsh habitats. As such, the overall project area includes saltmarsh habitat, which together totals 0.10 acre in area. The Seaside Landings residential subdivision borders the north, south, and west sides of the project area. The IWW is contiguous to the east side of the project area.
The applicant seeks authorization to construct a 22-slip marina within the existing man-made southern canal on the property. The construction of the marina would not affect emergent or submerged aquatic vegetation. Additionally, the marina would not provide pump-out, fuel, or other such services. Construction would occur through a combination of land-based and barge-based operations. The wood pilings associated with the marina would be installed through jetting to within 5 feet of the final tip elevation and through impact or vibratory hammer via water-based barge to the final elevation. Floating turbidity curtains would be utilized around each piling during installation. The applicant would insure the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011 and Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions, March 2006 during all in-water work.
The applicant also seeks 10-year authorization to dredge within the existing limits of both of the canals. The proposed dredge operations would provide a consistent slope from the existing shoreline to a bottom elevation of -6 feet NAVD88 throughout each canal. The two sediment accumulation spits/sandbars (saltmarsh areas) found at the mouth of each of the canals also would be dredged to provide safe ingress/egress travel between the canals and the IWW; and, this work would eliminate a total of 0.10 acre of saltmarsh. Dredge operations in the southern canal would extend no closer than 125 feet from the IWW channel right-of-way; and, dredge operations in the northern canal would extend no closer than 235 feet from the IWW channel right-of-way. The applicant estimates that dredge operations within the southern canal would remove approximately 4,300 cubic yards of material from that canal basin; and, that dredge operations within the northern canal would remove approximately 3,500 cubic yards of material from that canal basin. The initial dredge operations would occur via a long reach excavator from land, which would load into end-dumps to be taken to a staging and drying area. All dredged material would eventually be placed within an appropriate upland disposal site. Prior to any dredging activity, floating turbidity curtains would be deployed at the mouth of each canal and testing would be performed as needed to confirm compliance with state water quality standards. The applicant would insure the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011 and Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions, March 2006 during all in-water work. In conjunction with this proposal, the applicant seeks authorization to conduct maintenance dredge operations, as needed, for 10 years (10-year authorization).
Finally, the applicant seeks authorization to establish a segment of living-shoreline at “Lot 55”, as a model for shoreline stabilization by future property owners. A concrete and articulated mat would stabilize the living shoreline. The proposed vegetation planted within the mat includes saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) within the tidal range and saltmeadow cordgrass (Spartina patens) and seashore paspalum (Paspalum sp.) above the high tide level. The living shoreline would be maintained free of invasive/exotic vegetation by a licensed herbicide applicator. The living shoreline would be constructed after the canal is dredged. Any future maintenance dredging of the canal would incorporate best management practices, such as installing turbidity curtains around the living shoreline, to ensure no adverse impacts or effects to the living shoreline occurs during such dredge operations.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Owners of residential parcels contiguous to the canals or other waters could submit permit applications for single-family residential docks. In addition, owners of residential parcels contiguous to the canals could submit permit applications to install shoreline protection including, but not limited to, living shoreline, bulkheads, and/or rip-rap. The applicant is unaware of which property owners may or may not request such action.
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 is water-dependent and the total avoidance of work affecting the aquatic resources is not practical. Dredging of the man-made canals is limited to the area necessary to provide a consistent depth and slope throughout the canals for safe boating. In addition, the majority of the dredge operations would only effect open-water, non-vegetated areas.
The construction of the proposed 22-slip marina would not affect emergent or submerged aquatic vegetation. In addition, the marina would only accommodate vessel that are 25 feet or less in length, which supports vessels for recreational boating of the IWW but not ocean-going vessels (i.e., greater than 34 feet in length).
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant would provide compensatory mitigation for the loss of 0.10 acre of saltmarsh through the creation of a living shoreline on “Lot 55” of the southern canal.
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.
West Indian (Florida) Manatee (Trichechus manatus): The project as proposed appears to adhere to the guidelines of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) approved Flagler County Manatee Protection Plan; and, the applicant would implement the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011. In consideration of that information, the Corps reviewed the project utilizing The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-G-H-I-J-K-N-O-P-P2 may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect. Therefore, the Corps will coordinate the project with, and request concurrence from, the FWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas mydas), and Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta): The applicant agrees to adhere to the Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions, March 2006 during all dredge operations and during the construction of the marina. The proposed 22-slip marina would consists of slips that can accommodate vessels up to 25 feet in length. Therefore, the marina is anticipated to accommodate primarily shallow drafting center consoles and flats boats for recreational use within the local IWW system. The nearest navigable inlet is the Ponce Inlet approximately 28 miles away; and, in consideration of the limited slip size, the Corps does not anticipate that any of the boats utilizing this residential marina would be utilized for offshore use. The proposed marina would not provide any other water based services such as fuel, waste pump out, live-aboard slips, etc. The marina is an amenity for upland-based residents of the Seaside Landings subdivision; and, it would only provide wet-slip boat storage. In consideration of this information, the Corps concludes that the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect these species. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act through separate correspondence.
The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.
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 project would eliminate 0.10 acre of saltmarsh habitat. However, the project would establish a living shoreline at “Lot 55” to replace the effected aquatic habitat. In consideration of the overall project, our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries associated with the IWW. 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. Corps personnel verified the jurisdictional line in conjunction with previous action at the project site.
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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 within 30 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, Mark R. Evans, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1940; or, by telephone at (904)232-2028.
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.