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: NHC-FL 122, LLC
c/o John McLaren
2777 Franklin Road, Suite 200
Southfield, MI 48034
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Braden River. The project site is located at Horseshoe Cove RV Resort, 5100 60th Street, Bradenton in Section 10, Township 35 South, Range 18 East, Manatee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take Interstate-75 south to Exit 217B (S.R. 70/53rd Avenue East). Take S.R. 70 west towards Braden approximately 2.0 miles. Turn right onto 60th Street West/Caruso Road and proceed for 0.4 miles and make a U-turn onto 60th Street East. The project site entrance is 0.1 miles on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 27.448982°
Basic: Bank Stabilization
Overall: Stabilization of the shoreline and maintenance dredging along the Braden River oxbow that supports Horseshoe Cove RV Resort residential community.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: Project area is located along the east bank of the lower Braden River oxbow and includes 2,500 linear feet of riparian wetlands abutting the Horseshoe Cove RV Resort residential community. Project area is classified as Estuarine subtidal with an unconsolidated bottom. Dominant wetland species in the project area include Brazilian pepper (Schinus terbinthifolius), Leather fern (Acrostichum daneifolim), Black needle rush (Juncus roemeriamus), and Red mangroves (Rhizophora mangula).
Undeveloped forested lands are located immediately south of the project area and Ward Lake Reservoir is located 0.5 miles north of the project area. Natural hydrology in the area has been altered by construction of Ward Reservoir and severe bank erosion has occurred along the east bank primarily due to boat traffic and the construction of residential homes.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge 233 cubic yards of dredged material into 0.5 acres of riparian wetlands to construct 1,678 linear feet of rock filled Maccaferri Gabion Basket walls and sills and dredge a 0.15 ac shoaled area within the Braden River oxbow to stabilize shoreline.
Work includes hydraulically dredging shoaled area and using sediments to back fill the gabion basket walls and sills. Sills will be placed parallel to the shoreline at a 4.0 ft elevation and walls will be placed at a 5.15 ft elevation, both structures will include an erosion control blanket to prevent further erosion. Shoreline of the sills will be planted with Needle rush (juncus roemerianus), Sea-purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum), Sea ox-eye daisy (Borrichia frutescens), Marsh-elder (Iva frutescens), Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), and Leather fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium). Work will be conducted from a shallow draft barge.
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: “Project design incorporates living shorelines in combination with harder shoreline structures for added stability. Gabion basket rock walls and sills are not proposed to be continuous but are being proposed along heavily eroded areas only, leaving natural shoreline habitat intact.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: The applicant’s agent submitted a UMAM analysis for the proposed 0.50 ac of wetland impacts and identified a Functional Gain of 0.119. Stating that constructing gabion basket walls and sills parallel to the shoreline and planting native wetland plants behind the sills will provide bank stabilization, reduce wave action, and enhance native wetland habitat providing ecosystem services that currently do not exist. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not completed the evaluation of the impacts or determined the requirement for compensatory mitigation.
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 (MANLAA) Swimming sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, Eretmochelys imbricate, and Lepidochelys kempii), and Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectintata) or their designated critical habitat. The Corps evaluated the proposed work utilizing NMFS’s Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO) dated 20 November 2017. The JAXBO analyzes the effects from 10 categories of minor in-water activities occurring in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean on sea turtles (loggerhead, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, hawksbill, and green); smalltooth sawfish; Nassau grouper; scalloped hammerhead shark, Johnson's seagrass; sturgeon (Gulf, shortnose, and Atlantic); corals (elkhorn, staghorn, boulder star, mountainous star, lobed star, rough cactus, and pillar); whales (North Atlantic right whale, sei, blue, fin, and sperm); and designated critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass; smalltooth sawfish; sturgeon (Gulf and Atlantic); sea turtles (green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead); North Atlantic right whale; and elkhorn and staghorn corals in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Based on past permitting practices of the Corps and review of consultations with similar in-water construction activities, Project Design Criteria (PDCs) were identified in the JAXBO that typically have been applied to permitted in-water construction activities. These PDCs ensure effects of in-water construction activities are minimal in nature and do not result in adverse effects to listed species or to essential features of designated CH. For this verification, the Corps conducted a project specific review to ensure that all of the PDCs were met. In accordance with the project-specific review process established in the JAXBO, a PDC checklist, certification that the activity meets the applicable PDCs, and supporting documentation for the proposed activity were emailed to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org on 8 March 2019. Therefore, the Jacksonville District satisfied the project-specific review requirements stipulated in the JAXBO and satisfied its obligation under the ESA for the above-listed species and critical habitats within the NMFS purview.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the 2013 Manatee Key yielded the following progression: A>B>C>D>E>F>G>N>O>P4 MANLAA. Proposed project does not consists of mechanical dredging from a floating platform and will not restrict manatee access to less than half the width of the waterway. Proposed project site is located in an IMA and AIP, but a special condition of permit, if authorized, will be to have dedicated observes for the duration of the project. Proposed project includes dredging of less than 50K cubic yards. Project is not dredging for a residential dock facility and is not land based. Project does not provide new access for watercraft and does not impact SAV or mangroves. Applicant elects to follow standard manatee conditions for in-water work, 2011. By letter dated 25 April 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) concurs with the Corps determination of MANLAA in accordance with 50 CFR 402.14(b)1; no further consultation with the Service is necessary.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the endangered Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana). Use of the 2010 Wood Stork Effect Determination Key yielded the following progression: A>B MANLAA. Although the project site is within 4 miles of a colony site and contains suitable foraging habitat (SFH) for the species, proposed project activities would impact less than 0.5 ac of SFH.
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 Manatee River or 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, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610 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, Leanne Obra, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at Leanne.e.Obra@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (813)769-7061; or, by telephone at (813)769-7071.
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.