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: NHC-FL 122, LLC
c/o John McLaren
2777 Franklin Road, Suite 200
Southfield, MI 48034
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Braden River. The project site is along the property line of the Horseshoe Cove RV Resort located at 5100 60th Street, Bradenton in Section 10, Township 35 South, Range 18 East, Manatee County, Florida
Directions to the site are as follows: Take Interstate-75 south to Exit 217B (S.R. 70/53rd Avenue East). Take S.R. 70 west towards Braden approximately 2.0 miles. Turn right onto 60th Street West/Caruso Road and proceed approximately 0.4 miles and make a U-turn onto 60th Street East. The project site entrance is approximately 0.1 miles on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Bank Stabilization
Overall: Construct a living shoreline, perform dredging, and install rip-rap along a portion of the Braden River.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Braden River is classified as Estuarine subtidal with an unconsolidated bottom. Located along the East Branch of the Lower Braden River, the project site consists of a freshwater wetland fringe. Wetland habitats within the general project area include Brazilian pepper (Schinus terbinthifolius), leather fern (Acrostichum daneifolim), black needle rush (Juncus roemeriamus), a few small red mangroves (Rhizophora mangula), and unconsolidated sediments. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of a residential RV resort park.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a 2,200 linear foot living shoreline along the Braden River within the RV resort property. The work will include installation of a gabion sill and/or wall, backfilled with sediment from a nearby shoaled area, and then planted with tidal marsh species ultimately to colonize mangrove propagules floating within the Braden River. Dredging will impact a 0.15 acre of shoaled area within the oxbow of Braden River and stabilizing the shoreline will impact a 0.166 acre of wetlands.
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 has designed the project with the state and Federal regulations for living shorelines. The proposed project uses minimally invasive materials to achieve the required bank stabilization rather than proposing a completely hardened shoreline.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The applicant is not providing compensatory mitigation as the intent of the project is to create a natural shoreline with minimal adverse impacts. Work will have minimal fill impacts, 0.16 acre, that will be offset by the removal of nuisance/exotic species and the planting of native vegetation.
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) and the endangered Wood Stork (Mycteria americana):
Use of the 2010 Wood Stork Effect Determination Key yielded the following progression: A<B MANLAA. A review of a Resources at Risk (RAR) geospatial data report generated on 29 November 2017, showed that the action area is within 4 miles of a Wood Stork Nesting Colony and contains suitable foraging habitat (SFH) for the species. A review of project activities show that impacts to SFH would be less than 0.5 ac.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Manatee. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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 0.16 acres of fresh water marsh and unconsolidated bottom. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. 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 the District Engineer through the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610 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, Leanne Obra, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at Leanne.e.Obra@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (813)769-7061; or, by telephone at (813)769-7071.
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.