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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Thomas Becnel
Sandestin Investments, LLC.
9300 Emerald Coast Parkway
Miramar Beach, Florida 32550
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Horseshoe Bayou. The project site is located at Baytowne Marina, 8330 Mike Hayes Drive, Miramar Beach, Walton County Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Sandestin, take U.S. Highway 98 east to Sandestin Boulevard North. North on Sandestin Boulevard North to Heron Walk Drive. Travel east on Heron Walk Drive for approximately 0.50 mile to Baytown Avenue East. Travel north on Baytown Avenue East for approximately 0.40 mile. Site is on the west side of the road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES
Basic: Docking Facility.
Overall: Expansion of an existing commercial marina.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is an existing commercial marina located within Horseshoe Bayou which is a part of the Choctawhatchee Bay system. The existing marina currently consists of 130 boat slips, fuel pumps and pump out station. Water depths range from -5 to -6 feet at mean low water. The substrate within the project site consists of unconsolidated and unvegetated bottom. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of residential development and golf courses.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to expand the existing marina by adding 124 new boat slips, construct additional finger piers, access piers and marginal dock platforms onto existing docks, construct four (4) new docking structures (Docks 1-4), and remove eight existing boat slips. Specifically, the structures proposed to be added to the existing docks would consist of the following: one (1) 12-foot by 99-foot finger pier; one (1) 10-foot by 78-foot finger pier; one (1) 6-foot by 144-foot access pier; one (1) 6-foot by 131-foot access pier; one (1) 6-foot by 113-foot marginal dock platform; and one (1) 6-foot by 150-foot marginal dock platform. The four new docking structures would consist of the following:
Dock #1 - One (1) 10-foot by 262-foot access pier; seven (7) 4-foot by 23-foot finger piers and seven (7) 4-foot by 17-foot finger piers.
Dock #2 - One (1) 10-foot by 22-foot access pier; six (6) 4-foot by 32-foot finger piers; and six (6) 4-foot by 25-foot finger piers.
Dock #3 - One (1) 10-foot by 175-foot access pier; four (4) 5-foot by 32-foot finger piers; three (3) 10-foot by 75-foot finger piers; and one (1) 44-foot by 53-foot triangular platform.
Dock #4 - One (1) 10-foot by 300-foot access pier; nine (9) 4-foot by 20-foot finger piers; and one (1) 20-foot by 20-foot terminal platform.
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 selected a site that is devoid of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV’s) and hard bottom formations.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
No compensatory mitigation is proposed.
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, Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and the following species of swimming sea turtles: green turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate), Kemp’s ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). 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 unvegetated bottom in Horseshoe Bayou which is contiguous with the Gulf of Mexico and may be utilized by various life stages of species within the following Fisheries Managements Plans (Shrimp, Reef Fish, Stone Crab and Coastal Migratory Pelagics). Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the 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. 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 Pensacola Permit Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, Florida 32502, 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, Steve Andrews Jr., in writing at the Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, Florida 32502, by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax at (850) 433-8160, or by telephone at (850) 439-0707.
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.