Public Notice Notifications

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Published Nov. 6, 2019
Expiration date: 12/5/2019

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received a complete proposal for an a new project associated with the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) In-Lieu Mitigation Program, pursuant to the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources regulations (33 CFR Part 332) as described below:

APPLICANT:  Northwest Florida Water Management District
                       81 Water Management Drive
                       Havana, Florida 32333-4712

LOCATION: The proposed project, identified as the 7,840-linear foot Live Oak Peninsula Living Shoreline (ILF-NWFWMD-LOPLS), is located along the Live Oak Point peninsula on the southern shoreline of the Choctawhatchee Bay, within Sections 8 and 9, of Township 2 South, and Range 20 West, Walton County, Florida.

                                                                          Longitude: -86.252962°

PROJECT SUMMARY: Pursuant to 33 CFR 332.8(d)(4), the Corps has posted a full copy of the ILF-NWFWMD-LOPLS project proposal online so that it is available for review by the public. The project proposal may be downloaded from the Regulatory In-Lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) at web address:

Once on the RIBITS homepage, select "Jacksonville" from the "ALL DISTRICTS" drop down menu located in the lower left corner of the screen. Once the district filter has been selected, click on the “Banks & ILF Sites” link located in the Navigation box (upper left corner). This will generate a list of projects, scroll down the list and click on the “ILF-NWFWMD-Live Oak Peninsula Living Shoreline” link. On this page, click on the "Cyber Repository" link located on the menu bar above the General Information box, then click on the Live Oak Peninsula Living Shoreline Mitigation Plan folder to access the project proposal associated with the ILF-NWFWMD-LOPLS project.

If you are unable to access the web address, a copy of the prospectus is available upon request to the project manager listed at the end of this public notice.

PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The applicant seeks authorization to enhance, re-establish, preserve and protect wetlands along 7,840 linear feet of shoreline. The primary ecological goal of the ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP is to halt the loss of salt marsh at Live Oak Point along 7,840 linear feet of shoreline by planting salt marsh vegetation and constructing breakwaters. The stated specific restoration objectives are divided into three phases and include:

• Phase I
    o Re-establishment of 1.18 acres of salt marsh along 2,645 linear feet of shoreline
    o Enhancement of 4.03 acres salt marsh along 2,645 linear feet of shoreline
• Phase II
    o Re-establishment of 1.77 acres of salt marsh along 3,225 linear feet of shoreline
    o Enhancement of 5.48 acres of salt marsh along 3,225 linear feet of shoreline
• Phase III
    o Re-establishment of 1.10 acres of salt marsh along 1,970 linear feet of shoreline
    o Enhancement of 4.11 acres of salt marsh along 1,970 linear feet of shoreline

The applicant stated, that restored salt marsh habitat and associated breakwaters would be managed in perpetuity by the NWFWMD.

ECOLOGICAL SUITABILITY OF THE SITE: A review of available information indicates that the proposed project area historically consisted of salt marsh. A network of mosquito ditches was constructed, between 1969 and 1972, throughout the salt marsh. Based on historical aerial imagery analysis between 1972 and 2016, the applicant determined the average shoreline/salt marsh retreat was approximately 3.5 feet per year and that approximately 56 acres of salt marsh has been lost. Currently the proposed project site consists of salt marsh dominated black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus), smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), bulrush (Scirpus spp.) and big cordgrass (Spartina cynosuroides). The northern and western boundaries of the proposed project abut the Choctawhatchee Bay. The eastern and southern boundaries of the proposed project abut hydric pine flatwoods, uplands and salt marsh.

ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE BANK: The proposed ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP would be established and operated by NWFWMD as the in-lieu program Sponsor. The property that comprises the ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP is owned by NWFWMD. The ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP is proposed to be established as a new project under the NWFWMD In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Program. Following ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP successful implementation and attainment of final success criteria, long-term management activities will be implemented in order to ensure the sustainability of ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP. In addition, the Sponsor will provide sufficient financial assurances to ensure construction and long-term management of the proposed ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP.

PROPOSED SERVICE AREA: The project is located within the Williams Creek-Oriole Beach Frontal Subwatershed, identified as Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 031401050500 which is part of the larger Choctawhatchee Bay Subbasin (HUC 03140102). The Applicant proposes a Mitigation Service Area (MSA) that includes the Choctawatchee Bay Subbasin and portions of the St. Andrews-St. Joseph Bays (HUC 03140101) and Pensacola Bay (HUC 03140105). The ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP MSA is anticipated to include wetland habitat communities that could reasonably be expected to occur on the LF-NWFWMD-LOPSP.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the proposed ILF-NWFWMD-LOPSP site. 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.


(a) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion, NMFS, November 2017 (JAXBO): 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. The Corps has determined that the proposed project falls within the scope of the JAXBO. The Corps will request concurrence with this determination with National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate correspondence.

(b) Manatee: The Corps has determined that the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered West Indian manatee were evaluated using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 (Key). Use of this Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B>C>G>N>O>P5 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. The proposed project neither involves dredging, nor increases watercraft access to the project site. Furthermore, the applicant elects to adhere to the Standard Manatee
Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011. Therefore, according to the key, a may affect but is not likely to adversely affect determination is appropriate. By letter dated 25 April 2013, the FWS stated that for proposed in-water activities analyzed with the April 2013 version of the Manatee Key in which the Corps reaches a may affect, not likely to adversely affect determination with respect to the manatee and/or its designated critical
habitat, the FWS concurs with the Corps determination in accordance with 50 CFR 402.14(b)1 and no further consultation with the FWS is required.

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 project would occur over unvegetated bottom potentially utilized by various life stages of the following species covered within the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Plans: Red Drum, Reef Fish, Coastal Migratory Pelagics, Shrimp, Bull Shark, and Spinner Shark. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Suwannee River and/or 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 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.

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.

COMMENTS: Comments regarding the proposed mitigation bank should be submitted in writing to the District Engineer at the address below within 30 days from the date of this notice.

The initial evaluation pertaining to whether or not this mitigation bank proposal has the potential for providing compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by issued Department of the Army permits will be based on the information contained in the prospectus, received from this public notice and obtained during an inspection of the project site.

If you have any questions concerning this proposed project, you may contact Mrs. Shannon White by electronic mail at, or by telephone at 904-232-1681 or at the following address:

P. O. BOX 4970

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat

EVALUATION: After the end of the comment period, the district engineer will review all comments received and make an initial determination as to the potential of the proposed project to provide compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits. That determination 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. Factors relevant to the proposal will be considered including 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.

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 proposed activity. All comments received will be considered by the Corps during the formulation of the initial determination of potential for the proposed activity.