TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received a complete prospectus proposing the establishment of a mitigation bank pursuant to the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources regulations (33 CFR Part 332). This project was previously described in a public notice issued on July 14, 2016. While there were no substantive changes, the Sponsor has submitted a revised prospectus proposing the establishment of a mitigation bank as described below:
APPLICANT: Long Bar Pointe, LLLP
1651 Whitfield Avenue
Sarasota, Florida 34243
LOCATION: The proposed project, identified as the Long Bar Pointe Mitigation Bank (LBPMB), consists of two separate parcels comprising approximately 263 acres. The project is located west of El Conquistador Parkway and 75th Street West, in Sections 12, Township 35 south, Range 16 east and in Sections 7, 17, 18, and 20, Township 35 south, Range 17 east, Manatee County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES –
Latitude: 27.43861° N
Longitude: 82.635° W
PROSPECTUS SUMMARY: Pursuant to 33 CFR 332.8(d)(4), the Corps has posted a full copy of the LBPMB prospectus online so that it is available for review by the public. The prospectus may be downloaded from the Regulatory In-Lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) at web address: https://ribits.usace.army.mil.
Once on the RIBITS homepage, select "Jacksonville" from the "ALL DISTRICTS" drop down menu located in the lower left corner of the screen. Once the district filter has been selected, click on the “Banks & ILF Sites” link located in the Navigation box (upper left corner). This will generate a list of projects, scroll down the list and click on the “Long Bar Pointe MB” link. On this page, click on the "Cyber Repository" link located on the menu bar above the General Information box, then click on the PROSPECTUS folder to access the prospectus associated with the LBPMB project.
If you are unable to access the web address, a copy of the prospectus is available upon request to the project manager listed at the end of this public notice.
PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The applicant seeks authorization to enhance, restore, preserve and protect wetlands, submerged bottomlands, and uplands on the 263-acre property. The primary ecological goals of the LBPMB are to provide restoration, enhancement, and preservation of wetlands, submerged bottomlands, and uplands on the site by placing a conservation easement over the entire property, implementing a maintenance and management plan to provide site security, control poaching, control nuisance species, and control invasive exotic plants, remove invasive exotic plant species, enhance the distribution and condition of native plant communities, restore disturbed wetland and upland habitats to enhance the ecology of the coastal system, and place buoys and markers waterward of the western boundary of the bank as a deterrent to small boat traffic. Specific restoration objectives include:
• preservation of 4.3 acres of estuarine low and high salt marsh;
• enhancement of 120.8 acres of estuarine mangrove swamp;
• preservation of 110.1 acres of marine seagrass meadow;
• enhancement of 18 acres of palustrine shrub swamp and evergreen shrub swamp; and,
• enhancement of approximately 9.7 acres of upland habitat including hardwood-conifer mixed forest and hardwood mixed forest.
ECOLOGICAL SUITABILITY OF THE SITE: A review of available information indicates that the property historically consisted of the same mangrove swamp community that exists today. Uplands contained within the site consisted of pine savannah flatwoods and scrub uplands with an undergrowth of saw palmetto and wiregrass. Currently, the property contains wetlands that have been heavily impacted by exotic vegetation, mainly Brazilian pepper, and affected by drainage from adjacent agricultural operations.
ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE BANK: The proposed LBPMB would be established and operated by Long Bar Pointe, LLLP as the Sponsor with the assistance of ECo. Consultants, Inc. and BCPeabody, Inc. The property that comprises the LBPMB is owned by Long Bar Pointe, LLLP. The LBPMB is proposed to be established as a single and complete project. Following LBPMB successful implementation and attainment of final success criteria, long-term management activities will be implemented in order to ensure the sustainability of LBPMB. In addition, the Sponsor will provide sufficient financial assurances to ensure construction and long-term management of the proposed LBPMB.
PROPOSED SERVICE AREA: The proposed project is located within the Sarasota Bay Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC 03100201) subbasin. A single Mitigation Service Area (MSA) is proposed for the LBPMB, covering both freshwater and saltwater credits. The proposed MSA includes portions of Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota counties within the Sarasota Bay Subbasin as well as portions of the Manatee and Tampa Bay HUC 8 subbasins. The Sponsor proposes a MSA that is coincident with the Tampa Bay subbasin (HUC 03100201), an area with the Manatee subbasin (HUC 03100202) west of Interstate 75, an area within the Tampa Bay subbasin (HUC 03100206) located west of interstate 75 and south of interstate 275.
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.
Comments regarding the proposed mitigation bank should be submitted in writing to the District Engineer at the address below within 30 days from the date of this notice.
If you have any questions concerning this proposed project, you may contact Ms. Amy Thompson by electronic mail at Amy.D.Thompson@usace.army.mil, by fax at 904-232-1904, or by telephone at 904-232-3974 or at the following address:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT CORPS OF ENGINEERS
P. O. BOX 4970
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32232-0019
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat
EVALUATION: After the end of the comment period, the district engineer will review all comments received and make an initial determination as to the potential of the proposed project to provide compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits. That determination 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. Factors relevant to the proposal will be considered including 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.
The 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 proposed activity. All comments received will be considered by the Corps during the formulation of the initial determination of potential for the proposed activity.
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.