Public Notice Notifications

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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-2016-03326 (SP-CGR)

Published May 24, 2017
Expiration date: 6/23/2017

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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:

APPLICANT: Coco Beach Resort Management
                      Mr. John Wilson
                      900 Coco Beach Blvd.
                      Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 00745

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect mangrove-wetlands and open waters of the United States associated with Ensenada Comezón. The project site is located at Coco Beach, Municipality of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Directions to the site are as follows: Take State Road PR-3 from San Juan to Rio Grande, at the traffic light in Km. 26.6 turn to the left and keep on the Municipal Road until reach the main gate of Coco Beach Development. Once you pass the main gate keep to the right. The proposed pier will be located to east side after the Golf Club House.


Latitude:      18.40763°
Longitude: - 65.79863°


Basic: Pier

Overall: To provide access to waters at Ensenada Comezón and temporary docking facility (less than 48 hours) for use of non-motorized vessels (i.e. kayaks, paddle boards and other non-motorized equipment) that can have access from land to the water, and for use of motorized vessels such as ecotourism oriented boat tours and fishing charters coming from the ocean through the navigation channel from other facilities located in the areas nearby.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a saltwater system with mangrove trees (Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, and Avicennia germinans) along the shoreline. Ensenada Comezón has a navigation channel dredged decades ago when Coco Beach residential/tourist development project commenced. This channel is not marked. The maritime bottom where the pier is proposed consists of seagrasses and mud. Seagrass such as Thallassia testudinum dominates the seagrass beds at Ensenada Comezón (bay) and the Syringodium filiforme is more abundant at the east area of bay. The seagrass Halophila decipiens is distributed along the border of the navigation channel and at muddy and shallow bottoms of the bay. Also, the seagrass Halodule wrightii is present at the borders of the seagrass beds located at the west of the bay near the coast. No listed corals or their designated critical habitat is present within the footprint of the proposed project. Coral listed species: Mycetophyllia ferox, Acropora palmata and Orbicella faveolata are present at the bay, and outside the navigation channel, specifically at both sides of the navigation channel and near the entrance of this channel. The closest listed coral colony is located approximately 1,720 meters from the proposed pier construction area. The existing depth at the end of the proposed pier is approximately 5.5 feet.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a “T” shape concrete pier in navigable waters of the United States with total dimensions of: 500 feet long by 8 feet wide. A hand rail of 300 feet long will be installed at both sides of the pier from the 31 feet long proposed gangway toward the sea. This pier will have a total of 8 floating platforms (four at each side of the pier) of 20 feet long and 3 feet - 4 inch wide, and a “T” section of the pier measures 48 feet long by 8 feet wide. A section of the pier, immediately adjacent to the end of the hand rail is designated for non-motorized boats (i.e. kayaks and paddleboards). In accordance to the applicant the non-motorized boats can be accommodated either along both sides of the pier where the handrails are not installed or on available empty boat slips. The last section of the pier of 93’-4” will accommodate approximately 10 vessels of 39 feet or less in size with a maximum draft of 3 feet.

The proposed pier will be constructed in pre-cast concrete supported on two pre-cast concrete pillar column (piles) of eighteen inches along the mangrove fringe and open waters in Ensenada Comezón. These columns will occur every 30 feet each for a total of 32 piles and 8 piles at the end of the pier every 20 feet each for a total of 40 piles. The first two piles and the pile-cap support beam will be built from the shore, which it will require a temporary wooden platform for pile driving rig. The crane equipment will require a space of 12 feet wide (3.66 meters). The area to be impacted during construction will be the same for the pier. The remaining piles and pile-cap support beams will be built from a 40 feet long x 20 feet wide x 5 feet deep and 2 feet draft 50 – ton barge. The installation of the floating platforms will be built from a barge and small boats. The estimated time to install the piles is about 5 to 6 weeks and to install the pre-cast beams and pier deck is about 6 to 8 weeks. The proposed pier walkway has floor grills to minimize shading caused by the pier. The applicant stated that no mangrove trees will be removed, although they will be pruned by more than 50%. Approximately, 93.02 square meters (0.02 acres) of mangroves would be impacted due to the construction of the proposed pier on piles. The applicant does not propose dredging or discharge of fill material on waters of the United States. The applicant indicated that currently there are no plans for access of motorized boats from land to water from the Marina parcel, and is not considering now or planning for in the near future the construction of an inland marina.


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.


The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus), the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the fish: Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus). The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on listed threatened coral: Mycetophyllia ferox, Acropora palmata and Orbicella faveolata or the designated critical habitat of species mentioned above. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/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 0.02 acres of mangroves utilized by various life stages of Caribbean Fishes. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Caribbean. 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: A Coastal Zone Federal Consistency Certificate with the Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Plan is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board.

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Antilles Permit Section, Fundación Angel Ramos, Annex BLDG., Suite 202, 383 F. D. Roosevelt Ave., San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918 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 proposal.

QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Ms. Carmen Gisela Román, in writing at the Antilles Permits Section, Fundación Angel Ramos, Annex BLDG., Suite 202, 383 F. D. Roosevelt Ave., San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918; by electronic mail at or by telephone at (787)729-6637.

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.