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 and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Harbor Inn Resort & Yacht Club, LLLP
6880 SW 44th Street, Suite 110
Miami, FL 33155
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Peace River. The project site is located at 55 Tamiami Trail, in Section 6, Township 41S, Range 23E, in Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida along the tidal Peace River.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of I-75 (Exit 164)/U.S. 17 (Duncan Road) travel west on U.S. 17 for 2.3 miles; go right on Tamiami Trail/U.S. 41N for 0.3 miles to site on left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 26.939425°
Basic: To reconstruct a commercial docking facility.
Overall: To reconstruct an 82-slip commercial docking facility with one temporary mooring pump-out slip at an existing marina in Punta Gorda, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The surface waters consist of a saltwater system. No live bottom, mangrove vegetation or other significant biological resources have been observed onsite. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of urbanized/developed uplands with mixed commercial/residential usage, with docking facilities and moored vessels.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to reconstruct a storm-damaged 82-slip commercial docking facility. The scope of work proposed to be re-permitted includes reconstruction of a 18,330 square-foot docking structure with 82 slips (full slip utilization at maximum vessel storage has a potential shading impact of 38,670 square feet to silt-sand/mud bottom substrate) to be built in phases. Please note that Phase 1 as depicted in the permit drawings was completed in 2010 under the previously-issued permit for this scope of work. Phase 2 involves construction of: a) 165-square-foot finger pier along the northwestern side of Dock A; b) 9 finger piers (666 square feet) along the southeastern side of Dock B; c) 3 finger piers (228 square feet) along the northwest side of Dock B; d) 3 finger piers along the northwest side of Dock B (382 square feet); e) installation of 29 boat lifts at each of the permanent slips along Dock B. 2) Phase 3 involves expansion of Phase 2 work to include: a) installation of a 150-square-foot access gangway connecting to a floating concrete dock (2,288 square-feet) with 12 concrete guide pilings; b) installation of a floating concrete dock (2,397 square-feet; Dock C) (extends to the southwest of the waterward terminus of the floating concrete access dock) with 2 floating concrete finger piers (92 square feet), 7 floating concrete finger piers (483 square feet), 7 floating concrete finger piers (630 square feet) and associated pilings; c) construction of a 2,938-square-foot extension (Dock D) onto the main access pier with 5 floating concrete finger piers on the southeast side of Dock D connecting to a 1,763-square-foot floating concrete dock with 4 floating concrete finger piers (732 square feet) on the southeast side of Dock D; d) installation of a batter-board breakwater wave attenuation system on the outside perimeter of Dock D and the floating concrete access dock connected to Dock D (extending no lower than -3 Mean Low Water) on the outside of the waterward piers where no vessels will be moored; e) installation of mooring pilings between slips; f) installation of 36 (4x4’ 45-degree) corner-braces at the base of each floating concrete finger pier (288 square feet) at Dock C and Dock D; g) handrails and “no mooring” signage to be placed at the northeastern side of the floating concrete access dock and on the northwestern side of Dock C and Dock D where no vessels will be moored; h) installation of hard-piped plumbing for a fixed sewage-pump-out system (to service moored and fee-paid vessels and one “Temporary Mooring Pump-out Slip” located at Dock C, and in accordance with State wastewater treatment requirements). Phase 3 involves the installation 53 wet slips and one (1) temporary mooring slip (sewage pump-out). The existing pilings will be straightened as needed via jetting; new pilings are to be driven. The wave attenuation system will be attached to the dock (no bottom anchors; no bottom penetration). The work will be conducted via both land-based crane and barge-mounted heavy equipment (10-ton crane; barge drafts 2.5 feet when fully-loaded) for an estimated duration of six (6) months. No blasting is proposed. The work does not involve a net change in the square-footage of the previously-authorized over-water structure; no liveaboards, dry storage, or fueling facilities are proposed.
As noted above, the Phase 1 9-foot-wide wide access dock labeled Dock A (1,548 square feet) and the 8-foot-wide wood dock portion of Dock B (1,864 square feet) were fully reconstructed in 2010 under the previous permit (SAJ-1993-00692).
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 work is in an area that does not support any live bottom or other biological resources; there are no proposed impacts to mangroves or submerged aquatic vegetation. The proposed replacement construction work reflects no net increase in the previously-authorized square footage of the overwater structure and poses no increase in watercraft access.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: There are no proposed impacts to wetlands, mangroves or submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).
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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, not likely to adversely affect the Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), the Green (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate), Leatherback (Dermochelys coracea) sea turtle, and the Threatened Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). 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 proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the (MANLAA) manatee or its designated critical habitat (2013 Manatee Key sequential effect determination: A>B>C>G>N>O>P3 = MANLAA).
The applicant has agreed to follow the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, and the Sea Turtle & Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions. Also, the applicant has agreed to install educational materials for anglers, particularly the “Sawfish Safe
Release Guidelines”, and the sawfish encounter reporting instructions. The Corps would include the above mentioned conditions as a special conditions to any permit issued.
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 proposed work results in no net change in the areal extent of the previously-authorized overwater structure (21,742 square feet total, 18,330 square feet proposed to be reconstructed under this action) and no potential increase in watercraft access; minor effects to local vessel traffic may result from utilization of the finished facilities. Full utilization of all slips would create maximum shading impacts to 38,670 square feet of silt-sand/mud bottom substrate that may be utilized by various life stages of Penaeid Shrimp Complex, Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), Reef fish (various spp.), Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria), Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus), Migratory/Pelagic fish (various spp.), Snapper/Grouper Complex. The proposed work is in an area that is devoid of biological resources and contains no SAV; the project location has been historically utilized for transit and mooring of vessels. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally-managed fisheries in the waters 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 NMFS.
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 Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd. Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 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, Allison C. Murphy CPSWQ, CPESC, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd., Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919; by electronic mail at Allison.C.Murphy@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (239) 334-1975 ext. 0008.
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.