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: North Port Tampa CDD Holdings LLC
Attn: Beck Daniel
401 East Las Olas Blvd, Suite 1870
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Old Tampa Bay. The project site is located at 5000 West Gandy Boulevard, in Section 8, Township 30 South, Range 18 East, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of Gandy and Westshore, head west on Gandy for 0.2 miles, turn left onto Bridge Street, project site is on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Overall: Redevelop the former Imperial Marina basin, improve boat accessibility and navigability and stabilize the shoreline in Old Tampa Bay in Hillsborough County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area consists of deep, open water and seawalled shoreline that was the location of a former private marina. The basin contains a public boat ramp and Gandy Park which has an extensive intertidal marine habitat characterized with a shallow, vegetated shoreline. A hydrographic survey conducted in April 2005 shows water depths throughout most of the basin range from -12 to -14 feet NAVD88.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to remove the existing upland mole, maintenance dredge a portion of the former Imperial Marina Basin, stabilize the shoreline and construct a 149-slip docking facility.
The mole pier will be demolished in its entirety using land-based equipment. This will create approximately 0.95 acres of additional open water. Excavators will remove the earth fill so that there is no unbalanced load across the bulkhead, then the concrete sheet piles will be removed using vibratory pile extractors.
The proposed marina will consist of 47,028 square feet of floating docks, a 2,146 square foot gangway area, and a 541 square foot landing platform. The docks will range in size between 35 and 80 feet. The marina will provide water and electric utilities, fueling and pump out facilities, and access to a proposed waterfront restaurant.
The existing failing bulkhead will be abandoned in place and replaced with a limestone rock revetment with a two to one slope. A total of 33,982 cubic yards of material are proposed to be placed along the 2.7 acre shoreline.
To improve boat accessibility and navigability, the proposed dredging will restore shoaled areas to a depth of -11.15 feet NAVD88. A total of 35,121 cubic yards of material will be removed over a 6.9 acre area.
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 proposed revetment replaces an existing, hardened, failing seawall section with more natural shoreline and partially living shoreline, supporting habitat for local species of wildlife and plants. The revetment also improves the wave climate by dissipating, rather than reflecting the incident wave energy. The footprint of the revetment will be the minimum required for stability under wave loads and self-weight. The revetment was located as to maintain the existing flat working grade, but does not provide any additional developable land. No aquatic resources were observed in the proposed revetment footprint. The fill will not prohibit navigation and boating activities in the basin.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The revetment fill is balanced by the demolition and removal of the mole pier in the north basin. This mole pier restricts water flushing, and its removal will increase navigable water area and overall water quality in the vicinity. No aquatic resources were observed in the proposed revetment footprint. The proposed project will not result in significant, adverse permanent or secondary impacts to the basins or Tampa Bay and therefore, compensatory mitigation is not proposed.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined the permit area has been created within the last 45 years there is little likelihood of impact upon a historic property.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Smalltooth sawfish, or three species of swimming Sea Turtles. 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 the proposal may affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus mantus). Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered manatee were evaluated using the Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (Key), dated April 2013. Use of the Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-L-M-“May Affect”. 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.
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 Old Tampa Bay. 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 within 15 days from the date of this notice. Submit comments to Caitlin.S.Hoch@usace.army.mil, please reference this permit number, SAJ- 2005-08444 (SP-CSH), on all submittals.
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, Caitlin Hoch, in writing at Caitlin.S.Hoch@usace.army.mil or by telephone at (813) 355-0789.
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.