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: Mr. Chris Vansant
Steinhatchee Marina at Deadman’s Bay, LLC
25655 Marsh Landing Parkway
Ponte Vedra, Florida 32082
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Steinhatchee River. The project site is located at 104 First Avenue Southwest in Section 6, township 9 South, Range 9 West, Steinhatchee, Taylor County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Travel east on FL-20 East. After approximately 50 miles, keep right onto FL-267 South. Travel approximately 30 miles and turn left onto US-98 East. After approximately 66 miles, turn right onto FL-51 South. After 8 miles, turn right onto 1st Avenue South. Property is approximately 1.5 miles on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 29.672968°
Basic: Water access.
Overall: Improve water access to better serve the public and surrounding community in Taylor County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of an estuarine subtidal unconsolidated bottom (mud). No submerged aquatic vegetation is located within the project area. The project site is located within a dredged basin in the Steinhatchee River and is currently a vacant commercial property with an old dock and failing bulkhead. The existing dock is 275’ long and 8’ wide with a 50’ by 8’ “T” terminal. The existing bulkhead is 335’ long with rip rap. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of residential and commercial properties.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to re-build and modify an existing marina, replace a bulkhead and maintenance dredge a man-made basin and egress/ingress channel. Specifically, the applicant would add a 12’ by 36’ fixed dock along the shoreline, a 20’ by 25’ pavilion and a 6’ by 106’ floating dock. The fixed dock would be constructed out of treated wood and the floating dock would be aluminum. The pilings would be 6” galvanized steel and mechanically driven from land or from a barge. The 335‘ steel sheet pile seawall would be installed within 12” to 18” waterward of the existing bulkhead. Approximately 56 pilings would be installed via impact hammer and 95 cubic yards of backfill would be used to construct the seawall. The maintenance dredge would be performed by an excavator. The applicant proposes to dredge 65,612 square feet/9,800 cubic yards of sediment to -5’ at mean low low water. The dredged material would be disposed of in an upland area. In-water work would take 1-2 months and would only be conducted during daylight hours.
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 fill location would be limited to the space between the existing bulkhead and the proposed seawall. Turbidity curtains would be utilized.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The proposed project is within Section 10 waters and would not impact a special aquatic site. This area which includes a man-made cove is utilized for commercial and residential use and is maintenance dredged. Therefore, no compensatory mitigation is proposed.
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, based on the use of The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (April 2013), that the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee with the inclusion of conditions a, b, c, d, and e of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-water Work (2011).
The Corps has reviewed the potential impacts to the Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and swimming sea turtles, specifically the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) using the project design criteria (PDCs) outlined in the Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO) signed by the National Marine Fisheries Service in November 2017. The project complies with all project PDCs and activity specific PDCs in the JAXBO. As such, the Corps determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect these species. The Corps will provide the JAXBO summary checklist and Activity 1, 2, and 3 checklists to National Marine Fisheries Service via email. The applicant would abide by the Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions.
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 have a minor adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Steinhatchee River. 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 Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Boulevard, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 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, Mrs. Lisa S. Lovvorn, in writing at the Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Boulevard, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32405; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (850) 285-9533.
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 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.