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:
Headwaters Development LLLP
1644 Vinland Way
Naples, FL 34104
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Golden Gate Canal and the Gordon River, at 1644 Vinland Way, in Section 34, Township 49 South, Range 25 East, Naples, Collier County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 75 (I-75) in Collier County, take Exit #105/Golden Gate Parkway. Head west on Golden Gate Parkway approximately 4 miles, take a left (south) onto Vinland Drive. Vinland Drive dead ends into Vinland Way, and the subject property is the first lot on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Private recreational boating access and mooring.
Overall: To construct a private dock, boat lifts, and dredge for recreational boating access and mooring and install riprap revetment for shoreline stabilization at 1644 Vinland Way, Naples, Collier County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project is located at 1644 Vinland Way, which is currently an empty 0.36-acre parcel (Lot #10) slated for the construction of a single-family house in the Landings at Bear’s Paw subdivision which was previous authorized via a standard permit on 5 March 2014. The parcel has approximately 163 linear feet of shoreline abutting Golden Gate Canal which has some riprap and natural shoreline. There are approximately 0.05-acres (2,373 square feet) of mangrove wetlands channelward of the shoreline edge which cannot be avoided will be impacted as a result of this project.
A submerged resource survey was conducted by the applicant on September 7, 2018. The results of the survey indicated that the substrate found within the surveyed area included one distinct classification which was a silt muck material scattered throughout the entire area. This substrate was found scattered throughout the entire surveyed area. There was also a few scattered shell along the mangrove shoreline. The shoreline consisted of a rip-rap shoreline along the eastern third and mangroves along the remaining shoreline which both provide habitat for fish. The surveyed area exhibited a silt/muck bottom that was devoid of any aquatic vegetation growth or any types of submerged resources. The lack of any submerged resources is most likely due to the overall low water quality within this portion of the Gordon River due to the amount of freshwater runoff there is upstream from eastern Collier County, as well as the water clarity not allowing much sunlight penetration.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization (1) to construct a 10-20 foot wide by 103 foot long, 1,413 square foot (SF) single-family dock; (2) to install two (2) vertical boatlifts; (3) to install an additional 73 linear feet (LF) of riprap revetment stabilization with 34 concrete toe stone support piles connecting to the existing revetment; and (4) to mechanically dredge approximately 4,139 SF (0.095-acre) and 463 cubic yards (CY) of non-vegetated subaqueous bottom and mangrove wetlands to provide access to the proposed docking facility. The project will be conducted as depicted on the attached project plans.
The dredged material will be temporarily placed on the existing uplands of the subject parcel to be dewatered and then placed in a sealed truck and disposed of at the Bonita Grande landfill.
The project will result in the permanent loss of approximately 0.05-acre of mangrove wetlands which cannot be avoided because to the proposed project footprints will impact the root systems of these mangroves and they would be secondarily impacted. The applicant proposed to purchase 0.05 federal saltwater/estuarine mitigation credits from Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank. The applicant also proposes to plant 384 SF of mangrove propagules in the area where the mature mangrove will be removed.
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:
“Due to the existing shoreline conditions and local knowledge thread of navigation, the proposed dredge and docking facility requires the proposed mangrove impacts. As proposed, we cannot protrude the dock any further than what is being proposed as the local knowledge thread of navigation is up along the subject property shoreline. A shoal area has been created over time in the middle and south end of the subject waterway causing navigation to occur up along the subject property shoreline. The dock was designed to provide maximum recreational boating access for the applicant and not block general navigation of Golden Gate Canal. The dock and boatlifts have been designed to with minimal encroachment and will not extend beyond 25% of the waterway width. The HOA docks to the east of the property are slated for the 10 homeowners that do not own waterfront properties and cannot be utilized by the applicant.”
A mangrove planting area is being proposed in order to help stabilize the remaining
unimpacted shoreline and replace some of the habitat impacted. This will also allow the applicant to maintain the growth to keep safe ingress/egress to the proposed docking facility and view of the waterway.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The project will result in the permanent loss of approximately 0.05-acre of mangrove wetlands which cannot be avoided because to the proposed project footprints will impact the root systems of these mangroves and they would be secondarily impacted. The applicant proposed to purchase 0.05 federal saltwater/estuarine mitigation credits from Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank*.
*The Corps has not fully evaluated the proposed compensatory mitigation proposal to date, but recognizes the project is located outside of the service area for the Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined the permit area has been extensively modified by previous work and there is little likelihood a historic property may be affected and the activities are of such limited scope there is little likelihood of impact upon a historic property. Therefore, pursuant to CFR 36 Part 325, Appendix C (3)(b), the proposed project would have “No Potential to Cause Effect”. 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.
Name of species potentially present managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS):
• Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi)
• Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus)
• Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)
• West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus)
• Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)
Name of species potentially present managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS):
• Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectintata)
• Swimming Sea Turtles: Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eremochelys imbricate), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle(Lepidochelys kempii), Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and/or Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).
Designated Critical Habitat (DCH): West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus).
Eastern Indigo Snake: The Corps has determined that the proposed project will have no effect on the eastern indigo snake since the project location is open water or previously disturbed shoreline and does not support eastern indigo snake habitat. Therefore, no further consultation with USFWS is required when this determination is reached.
Florida Bonneted Bat (FBB): The project is located within the FBB consultation area, but not within focal areas. The shoreline has been maintained and contains riprap revetment, mangroves and other scrub shrub plants. The project areas does not support FBB nesting or foraging habitat. Therefore, the Corps has determined the project will have no effect on the FBB and no further consultation is required with the USFWS.
Florida Scrub Jay: The project is located within the Florida Scrub jay consultation area. There is no designated critical habitat for the scrub jay listed in the federal register (52 FR 20715-20719). Persistent breeding populations of Florida scrub-jays exist only where there are scrub oaks in sufficient quantity to provide an ample winter acorn supply, cover from predators, and nest sites during the spring. The project site is located along a residential subdivision shoreline and it does not support scrub jay foraging or nesting habitat. Any scrub jay sightings at the project site would be incidental. The Corps has determined that the proposed project will have no effect on Florida Scrub-Jay and no further consultation is required with the USFWS.
West Indian Manatee: The project is located within Manatee critical habitat. Use of the 2013 Manatee Key resulted in a determination that the proposed project “May affect, not likely to adversely affect” the endangered West Indian manatee (A>B>C>G>H>I>N>O>P>MANLAA). Per Key stipulation, no further consultation with the USFWS is required. The permittee will have to adhere to the “Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, July 2011”.
Wood Stork: The project is located within Wood Stork Colonies core foraging areas (CFA), but is not within 0.47 miles of an active colony. However, the project site does support suitable foraging habitat (SFH). In accordance with the Corps and USFWS SFESO South Florida Programmatic Concurrence Wood Stork Key (May 18, 2010), the project keyed out A (SFH greater than 0.76km from active colony) > B (SFH <0.20 hectare/0.5-acre) > NLAA (Not Likely to Adversely Affect). Per this key, with an outcome of NLAA, the requirements of Section 7 of the ESA are fulfilled for the wood stork and no further consultation will be required.
Smalltooth sawfish: The project is located in waters potentially accessible to the smalltooth sawfish and will impact mangrove wetlands. A separate consultation will be conducted with NMFS per the requirements of Section 7 of ESA.
Swimming Sea Turtles: Due to the project’s location approximately 6+ river miles upstream from Gordon Pass and the Gulf of Mexico, the Corps has determined the project will have no effect on swimming sea turtles and no further consultation will be conducted for these species.
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 0.05-acre of mangrove wetlands and 0.095-acre of non-vegetated subaqueous bottom substrate. A submerged resource survey was conducted by the applicant on September 7, 2018 as noted in the Existing Conditions section above. Therefore, 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 with the proposed compensatory mitigation. 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 to date.
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 must be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919 or, preferably, via email to the project manager at Katy.R.Damico@usace.army.mil within 21 days from the date of this notice (i.e. December 20, 2018).
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, Katy Damico, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919; by electronic mail (preferred) at Katy.R.Damico@usace.army.mil; or by telephone at (813) 769-7076.
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.