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: Cap’n Wells LLLP
2600 Golden Gate Parkway
Naples, FL 34105
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located at 79786 Overseas Highway within an existing marina adjacent to Teatable Key Channel; legally described as Part of Lot 1-2 and Part of Government Lot 3, Part of Tract 1, Island of Upper Matecumbe, G10-513, in Section 06, Township 64 South, Range 37 East, Islamorada, Monroe County, Florida, 33036 (RE# 00096900-000000)
Directions to the site are as follows: Take U.S. 1 south to mile marker 80; the property will be on the right at 79786 Overseas Highway.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.8985° N
Longitude: -80.6597° W
Basic: To improve boating access.
Overall: To improve boating access in Islamorada, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project is located within an existing commercial marina adjacent to Florida Bay. This site contains a dredged boat basin currently used for transient and long term boat mooring. The perimeter of the basin is armored with a seawall and concrete dock. There is a wood marginal dock that extends 172-linear feet along the shoreline. A 60-feet long seawall and cantilevered wood dock runs along the west side of the property adjacent the Teatable Key Channel and continues under the Overseas Highway Bridge. Within the boat basin, there are 20 existing slips of which 18 are serviceable at this time. The upland lot is developed, there is a restaurant and marina. The boat basin is bordered by sections of rip-rap boulders. The northwest portion of the shoreline around the basin and creek, where the proposed new boat ramp and L-shaped dock are being proposed, is dominated by some red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) and button wood (Conocarpus erectus). Most of the boat basin has a silt marl bottom. Stony encrusted coral colonies (Siderantrea radians) are present on the rip-rap along the south shoreline and on the existing boat ramp area. Macroalgae such as Halimeda spp. and Caulerpa spp. dominate the dock areas. Sparse patches of Turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) and Shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) are mixed with algae along the shoreline, but are outside of the proposed dredge footprint. Brown tube sponge (Agelas wiedenmyeri), brown encrusting sponge (Ectyoplasia ferox), fire sponge (Tedania ignis) and red-orange encrusting sponge (Diplastrella megastellata) are present along the shoreline within the seawall and rip-rap. Numerous round scarlet coral colonies (Siderastrea radians) are present on the northwest side of the property. Flat oysters (Isognomon alatus) along the dock supporting piles were also observed. Several juvenile and mature fish that were observed included, gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), needlefish (Strongylura marina), and sergeant major (Abudefduf saxatilis) were present at the time of inspection. Water clarity within the basin is good. No seagrass impacts are expected to occur due to the proposed work; however some impacts to red mangroves may occur and will be addressed further under minimization.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant is seeking a 3 year time extension; the work as proposed is: (1) to repair and replace the existing 349 linear feet of marginal wood dock; (2) to construct a 395-square foot extension to the marginal dock; (3) to repair and relocate five finger piers that total 300-square feet (20-foot long by 3-foot wide); (4) to remove 3 mooring piles and install 11 new mooring piles; (5) to repair and replace the existing bulkhead and place 158 cubic yards of backfill over 3,031 square feet; (6) to bulkhead the existing concrete ramp and backfill with 79 cubic yards of clean fill material over 567 square feet; (7) to place 71 cubic yards of clean fill in 756 square foot (18-foot wide by 42-foot long) area for the construct of a new boat ramp along the northern side of the property; (8) to construct a new 112-square foot (30-foot long triangular shaped) accessory pier to the new boat ramp; (9) to maintenance dredge 56 cubic yards (over a 3,008-square foot area) of the boat basin and the existing mooring area to -5 feet mean low water; and (10) to remove 22 cubic yards of debris from the canal, in/over navigable U.S. waters. Turbidity curtains will be deployed in/over waters of the United States and will remain in place until the work is completed and erodible materials have stabilized.
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 applicant agreed to relocate the boat ramp to an area over a portion of an existing dock as to minimize the impacts to shoreline vegetation. Prior to the initiation of any work the Permittee shall install floating turbidity barriers with weighted skirts that extend to within 1 foot of the bottom around all work areas that are in, or adjacent to, surface waters. The turbidity barriers shall remain in place and be maintained until the authorized work has been completed and all erodible materials have been stabilized.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The mitigation offered by the applicant is sufficient to offset impacts on the values and functions of the wetland resource. The applicant would be required to make a payment in the amount of $359.51 to the Keys Environmental Restoration Fund (KERF) in order to offset unavoidable impacts to resources.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential 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 > H > I > J > L > M > N > 0 > P(2), “MANLAA”. This determination is partially based on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011. By letter dated April 25, 2013, the Corps received concurrence from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding MANLAA determinations for the West Indian manatee in accordance with 50 CFR 402.14(b)1 and pursuant to the Key.
The project site is not within the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) critical habitat; however, it is within the species consultation area. By letter dated October 28, 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, paragraph 2, the proposed project does not contain suitable nesting habitat that is accessible to the crocodile. Therefore, given that the proposed impact area meets these criteria as set by the FWS, the Corps has made a “MANLAA” determination in regard to the American crocodile. Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, no further consultation with the Service 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) and its designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
Additionally the Corps has determined the proposed project will have no effect on the Acropora spp. (Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmate) 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.
The Corps has determined that the project will have “no effect” on any other listed threatened or endangered species, and/or designated critical habitat. Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, no further consultation is required.
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 6,357 square feet of submerged bottom and sea grass bed 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/has not] 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, Miami, FL, 33176 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, Nicholas Lucore, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Miami, FL, 33176; by electronic mail at Nicholas.J.Lucore@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (305) 526-7184; or, by telephone at (305) 779-6056.
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.