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:
New College of Florida Board of Trustees
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida 34243
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Sarasota Bay. The project site is located at 5800 Bay Shore Road, in Section 2, Township 36 South, Range 17 East, Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: 10117 Princess Palm Ave, Tampa, FL 33610, Get on I-75 S (0.8 mi), Head east on Princess Palm Ave toward Queen Palm Dr, (433 ft), Turn left onto Queen Palm Dr, (0.1 mi), Turn right onto FL-574 E, (0.1 mi), Use the right lane to merge onto I-75 S via the ramp to Naples, (0.5 mi), Follow I-75 S to University Pkwy in Manatee County. Take exit 213 from I-75 S, (45.9 mi), Merge onto I-75 S, (45.5 mi), Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 213 for University Pkwy toward Sarasota, (0.3 mi), Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Dog Track/Ringling Museum/Airport/U S F New College and merge onto University Pkwy, (420 ft), Follow University Pkwy to Caples Dr. in Sarasota (7.2 mi), Merge onto University Pkwy, (6.7 mi), Continue onto Ringling Plaza , (0.2 mi), Continue straight onto Bay Shore Rd., (0.1 mi), Turn right onto Caples Dr., (0.2 mi), New College of Florida Waterfront, 351 Caples Dr., Sarasota, FL 34234
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Multi-slip Dock
Overall: Multi-slip dock with platform and boat lifts.
PROJECT HISTORY: The proposed project was originally publicly coordinated as a Letter of Permission, however due to significant public comment, the Corps converted the project to a Standard Permit.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area consists of an Estuarine, Subtidal/Intertidal, Unconsolidated Bottom. The onsite vegetation consists of Halodule wrightii. The remaining area consists of unvegetated fine sediments. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of mostly of unarmored shoreline with some rip-rap near the northern end of the project site. Adjacent properties to the south consisted of concrete seawalls.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a new 3,412.4 square foot (ft2) dock, supporting 10 wet slips, with 2 new boat lifts (within proposed slips) and a terminal platform dock. Project design shows that the dock access walkway is 293.9 feet (ft) long by 6 ft wide (1,763.4 ft2). Dock has a terminal platform to the right of the access walkway that is 22 ft by 20 ft (440 ft2), and a terminal dock walkway 144 ft long by 6 ft wide (864 ft2) with 5 finger piers of varying lengths (3 new finger piers 21 ft by 3 ft. (189 ft2), 1 new finger pier 24 ft by 3 ft (72 ft2), and 1 new finger pier 28 ft by 3 ft. (84 ft2)) supporting 10 new wet slips. The 2 new boat lifts will be 12 ft by 12 ft 10,000 lbs. lifts located within slips 3 and 5 of the proposed dock plan (see attached).
Project plan indicates approximately 1,763.4 ft2 of sea grass impacts. Remote sensing resources available to the Corps shows this area has supported seagrasses over multiple years. The proposed installation of open deck grating elevated to 5 ft above mean high water is expected to minimize shading impacts.
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 applicant plans to utilize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/National Marine Fisheries Service (November 2017), Construction Guidelines in Florida for Minor Piling-Supported Structures Constructed in or over Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV), Marsh or Mangrove Habitat (DCGs) for areas over seagrasses. Dock platform and slips will be constructed over areas devoid of seagrasses.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: The project is regulated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. § 403). No compensatory mitigation required.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of historic property/ properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps has initiated consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter on September 20, 2019. The Corps and SHPO are still coordinating on this project.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectintata) and swimming Sea Turtles: Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Northwest Atlantic DPS Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service programmatic concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
Additionally, the Corps has determined the proposal may affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus). The Corps has requested initiation of informal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter on September 20, 2019. The Corps and FWS are still coordinating on this project.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The proposal would impact approximately 1,763.4 ft2 of seagrass habitat utilized by various life stages of postlarval, juvenile and subadult shrimp; postlarval, juvenile and adult red drum; postlarval, juvenile and adult gray snapper; juvenile red and gag groupers; and juvenile and adult yellowtail and lane snappers. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. NMFS Habitat Conservation Division (HCD) reviewed this site on September 27, 2019 and confirmed the presence of seagrass. NMFS HCD stated that, “…we anticipate any adverse effects that might occur on marine and anadromous fishery resources would be minimal and, therefore, do not object to issuance of the permit”.
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 33610-8302 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, Ryan Hendren, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302; by electronic mail at Ryan.G.Hendren@usace.army.mil or, by telephone at 813-769-7075.
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.
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.