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: Boston Whaler, Inc.
Mr. Nick Stickler
100 Whaler Way
Edgewater, FL 32141
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Mosquito Lagoon-Indian River Hydrologic Basin (10-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (0308020204). This project is located east of U.S. 1 and north of Jones Fish Camp Road in Edgewater, Florida. The project is further located in Section 37, Township 18 South, Range 35 East, Volusia County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 take S.R. 442 east to U.S. 1, then travel south on U.S. 1. The property is located approximately 4 miles south of S.R. 442 on the east side of the road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Commercial development expansion.
Overall: Expand the existing Boston Whaler boat manufacturing site in Edgewater, Volusia County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The existing Boston Whaler boat manufacturing site has been in production for many years. There are existing construction facilities, offices, stormwater management features, a boat ramp and dock for testing. There are several parking and storage areas around the parcel. The expansion to the north is into the old Pre-stressed Concrete Plant parcel. This area has been extremely altered through the past and is comprised of many weedy species, willow (in the lower areas), and other opportunistic species. There is a forested component along the northern boundary that is comprised of various pines, red maple, sweetgum, laurel oak, and other mixed hardwoods. Most of the shoreline is fortified with a seawall and rip-rap, however the remaining sections consist of typical high marsh species with some mangrove at the far north end. The wetland to the south is a mix of hardwoods uphill transitioning to adjacent saltmarsh species at the shoreline.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 0.89 acres of waters of the U.S. (0.39 ac of wetlands and 0.5 acres of surface water (ditch)) for the construction of the expansion of the commercial development. This includes buildings, parking, and stormwater management. The stormwater management system has been designed to reduce existing direct discharge into the Mosquito Lagoon, by routing the stormwater through a series of retention ponds for additional treatment prior to discharge.
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:
“Construction of the project has been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to federally regulated wetlands to the greatest extent possible. Most of the development has been located on uplands by positioning the structures and activities on the vacant lot to the north. Those structures that are situated on the northern parcel have been placed on uplands heavily impacted by the site’s historical industrial uses, and a large, naturally-wooded tree area has been left undisturbed and will be preserved. Those structures and activities that are to be placed on the current Boston Whaler property have been reduced in size and nature such that the amount of impacts that were originally intended for the project have been reduced from 3.31 acres of moderate/ high quality wetlands to 0.39 acres of impacts to wetlands that are degraded by adjacent historic industrial use. Additionally, Boston Whaler has designed and will implement a storm water management system that will significantly improve the quality of water being discharged from the site into Mosquito Lagoon.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“Boston Whaler will provide compensatory mitigation to offset the loss wetland functional value due to 0.39 acres of impacts. Compensatory mitigation will consist of permittee responsible on-site mitigation or the purchase of federal mitigation bank credits from a mitigation bank approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
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 wood stork (Mycteria americana) and Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi).
The proposed activity is not within the Core Foraging Area (CFA) of a wood stork rookery; the project supports marginally Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida (dated September 2008), the Corps’ determination sequence was A>B>C>D>E = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. The determination is supported by SFH compensation provided within the service area of a mitigation bank, and/or provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH; and is not contrary to the Service’s “Habitat Management Guidelines for the Wood Stork in the Southeast Region”. No further consultation is required.
Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Effect Determination Key (dated January 25, 2010; August 13, 2013 Addendum), the Corps determination sequence resulted in A>B>C = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. This determination is based on the project not being located in open water, the applicant adhering to the “Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake” (dated August 12, 2013) and the absence of gopher tortoise burrows, holes, and refugia within the work area where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities. No further consultation is required.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other 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 have no impact on EFH. 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 through the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926 within 15 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, John Palmer, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926, by electronic mail at John.Palmer@usace.army.mil, by fax at (321) 504-3803, or by telephone at (321) 504-3771, extension 10.
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: 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 of 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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.