TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received applications for Department of the Army permits pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
Lots 1 &3: Azure Views, LLC
c/o George Garrett
500 17th Court Gulf
Marathon, FL 33050
Lot 4: 134 Coco Plum, LLC
c/o Sam Williams
648 30th Street
Marathon, FL 33050
Lot 5: Emmanual Alsina
29218 SW 187th Avenue
Homestead, FL 33030
Lot 13: George and Melissa Garrett
500 17th Court Gulf
Marathon, FL 33050
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The projects would affect waters of the United States associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The project sites are located at lots 1, 3, 4, 5 and 13 between Avenues G and H and Coco Plum Drive, in Section 05, Township 66 south, Range 33 East, Marathon, Monroe County, FL (RE#s 00364610-000100, 00364610-000300, 00364610-000400, 00364610-000500, and 00364620-000000).
Directions to the site are as follows: Take U.S. 1 South to MM 54.2. Turn left onto Coco Plum Drive. Projects are located between G and H along Coco Plum Drive.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 24.729174°
Basic: The basic project purpose is to provide boating access.
Overall: The overall purpose is to provide boating access in Marathon, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The properties are located within a partially developed subdivision of Coco Plum. The properties are situated between a paved road and a canal that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The subject parcels are primarily upland lots with a mature, red mangrove shorelines. Lot 13 has an interior wetland area comprising black mangroves, buttonwood, and other wetland vegetation.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicants seek authorization to complete the following work:
Lot 1: to install a 148 square foot T-shaped dock supported by a total of 8 pilings and comprised of a 4 foot wide by 12 foot long access walkway and a 4 foot wide by 25 foot long terminal platform, to conduct a total of 175 square feet (10 cubic yards) of maintenance dredging to a depth of -4 feet below mean low water, to designate a 275 square foot area as an Avoided Wetland Area, and to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in-over U.S. navigable waters.
Lot 3: to install a 210 square foot T-shaped dock supported by a total of 10 pilings and comprised of a 4 foot wide by 15 foot long access walkway and a 5 foot wide by 30 foot long terminal platform, to designate a 455 square foot area as an Avoided Wetland Area, and to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in-over U.S. navigable waters.
Lot 4: to install a 4 foot wide by 50 foot long pier supported by a total of 10 pilings, to designate a 270 square foot area as an Avoided Wetland Area, and to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in-over U.S. navigable waters.
Lot 5: to install a total of 69 foot long pier that is a maximum of 5 feet wide and is supported by a total of 18 pilings, to install a 5 foot wide by 12.5 foot long wood pier extension, to install a 16,000 pound capacity cradle boatlift supported by 2 dock support pilings and 2 additional pilings, to designate a 1,600 square foot area as an Avoided Wetland Area, and to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in-over U.S. navigable waters.
Lot 13: to install a 787 square foot T-shaped dock supported by a total of 36 pilings and comprised of a 4 foot wide by 93 foot long access walkway and a 5 foot wide by 83 foot long terminal platform, to designate a total of 16,130 square feet of wetlands as an Avoided Wetland Area, and to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in-over U.S. navigable waters.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicants have provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment: Prior to the start of construction, turbidity curtains will be deployed to isolate the construction site from ambient waters. These will remain in place until all construction induced turbidity has subsided and water quality has returned to pre-construction conditions. The Applicants have each proposed to designate portions of the red mangrove shoreline as an Avoided Wetland Areas and preserve them in perpetuity.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicants have offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If mitigation is required by the Army Corps of Engineers the appropriate mitigation will be determined with a UMAM and payment made to Keys Restoration Fund.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-G-H-I-N-O-P4 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. This determination partially was based on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the manatee dated April 2013.
In addition, the project is located within American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) consultation area. According to the 28 October 2014 American Crocodile Key, the property does not support suitable nesting habitat for the crocodile as the shoreline consists of mature red mangroves. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence #2 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. Therefore, the Corps has reached a “may affect not likely to adversely affect” determination on the American crocodile and its suitable nesting habitat.
The real estate parcel numbers 00364610-000100, 00364610-000300, 00364610-000400, 00364610-000500 are not on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County. The real estate parcel number 00364620-000000 (lot 13) is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County for the Eastern Indigo Snake.
The subject parcel (lot 13) is listed on the Suitable Habitat List for the Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Since critical habitat has not been designated for the indigo snake, potential impacts to D. c. couperi were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key dated 1 August 2017 (Snake Key). Due to the permit being conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for The Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and project construction, use of the Snake Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D (1), “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. Therefore, pursuant to the Snake Key, no further consultation with the FWS is required.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), kemps ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) species, and the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus). A no effect determination was reached on Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat, smalltooth sawfish designated critical habitat, and listed corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service 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 a total of 1,905 square feet of wetland shoreline and submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176 within 21 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, Jessica Hogan, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at Jessica.M.Hogan@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (305)779-6052.
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.