Public Notice Notifications

The Jacksonville District currently has five categories of public notice notification mailing lists. If you wish to receive email notifications when new public notices are added to this page, please send a request to Regulatory Webmaster.  Each category is described below. Be sure to specify which list(s) you want to be included on.

Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

SAJ-2017-00425(SP-ACM)

Published April 14, 2017
Expiration date: 5/5/2017
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) as described below:

APPLICANT: Florida Dept. of Env. Protection
                      Attn: Theresa Carron
                     3900 Commonwealth Blvd. 260L
                     Tallahassee, FL 32399

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Fakahatchee River. The project site is located in Section 13, Township 52 South, Range 28 East, at 137 Coastline Drive, Copeland, Collier County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Approximately 6.5 miles west of the intersection of US 41 and CR 239.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 25.94058º
                                                                         Longitude -81.46446º

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: Public parking and boardwalk.

Overall: Construct a boardwalk impacting 2.91 acres of wetland in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a preserved wetland freshwater and brackish system as part of the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. The onsite vegetation consists of a sawgrass marsh, Spartinia bakeri, Panicum hemotoman, and variety of grasses and sedges, mixed hardwoods and cypress forest with diverse understory. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of preserved uplands and to the south is US 41 – Tamiami Trail E.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to impact 2.91 acres of freshwater wetlands for the construction of day use parking area and pedestrian boardwalk in Fakahatchee Strand.

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 was centered around the only available upland in the vicinity of the project, the old US41 ROW. Although this location is located a considerable distance from the existing trailhead it was selected as it minimized and avoided wetland. A location closer to the trailhead would have had significantly more wetland impact.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

Unavoidable impacts are being mitigated by hydrologic improvements. The mitigation concept utilized for the project is the restoration of hydration along Jane’s Scenic Trail by the addition of culverts at select locations. UMAM analysis was conducted to determine the lift that might be obtained from each of the culvert crossings. Therefore we looked to narrow the mitigation to those culverts where the improvement is greatest. That turns out to be the culverts at Sta 8+00 and Sta 13+00. These are the two locations where we found a 0.8 foot difference in water elevations on either side of Jane’s Scenic Trail. Providing additional culverts at Sta 8+00 and Sta 13+00 is proposed as mitigation for the Cypress Bend Boardwalk and Access Improvements. It is clear that adding additional culverts at all 12 locations would provide significantly more functional lift than that necessary to offset the wetland impacts of the project. The improvement in wetland functional value due to improvements in hydration by installing additional culvert is most pronounced at Sta 8+00 and Sta 13+00. Culvert improvements as proposed in these two locations provides a functional lift of 3.33. This is more than adequate to offset the functional loss due to the proposed and future project of 1.63 functional units.

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 Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus), and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

The Corps has determined the proposal may affect the Florida Panther (Felis concolor coryi). The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.

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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Fakahatchee Strand. 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: 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 District Engineer through the 1520 Royal Palm Square, Suite 310, Ft. 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, Allison C. Murphy, in writing at the Ft. Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd., Ft. Myers, Florida, 33919; by electronic mail at Allison.C.Murphy@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (239)334-0797; or, by telephone at (239)334-1975 ext. 0008.

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.