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: Seasons, Inc.
C/o Michael Aranda
P.O. Box 7384
Ft. Myers, Florida 33919
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Florida Bay. The proposed project is located at 881 50th Street adjacent to Florida Bay in Section 10, Township 66 South, Range 32 East, Marathon, Monroe County, Florida (MM±49). RE#00327150-000100
Directions to the site are as follows: Take US Highway No 1 South to MM49; Turn right onto 50th Street; Project is located at 881 50th Street.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.717367°
Basic: The basic project purpose is to provide improved boating and recreational access.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to provide improved boating and recreational access in Marathon, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project is located within a mixed use developed subdivision adjacent to a canal tributary to the Florida Bay. The existing shoreline infrastructure includes a boat basin, riprap, concrete docks, a boat ramp, and piles. The majority of the infrastructure is in severe disrepair. The benthos ranges from sandy-gravel to muck. Medium to large pieces of concrete debris are located at the base of the seawalls where the docks and supporting structures have fallen in. This debris is located in the basin and portions of the canal. The benthos outside of the basin, where the swim platform is proposed, supports seagrasses. Macroalgae is supported on the benthos, and the existing piles. Corals are located on the boulders located along the shoreline. Siderastrea was the only coral species located onsite. Thallasia testudinum and Halodule wrightii were the only seagrass species located onsite. The property is currently under construction for the development of 44 townhome units on the upland lot.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place 165 cubic yards of fill along 724 linear feet of shoreline to repair and expand the existing boulder seawall/revetment, to construct a marginal wood dock varying in width between 8 feet to 10 feet wide along the boat basin and canal shoreline totaling 7,237 square feet, to place 10 cubic yards of fill within a 520 square foot area to abandon an existing boat ramp, to construct six (6) 3 foot wide by 20 foot long finger piers and five (5) 3 foot wide by 15 foot long finger piers totaling 585 square feet within the boat basin, to remove the existing pilings and install 20 new mooring piles within the boat basin, to construct a 250 square foot “T”-shaped swim platform with a 4 foot wide by 22 foot long access walkway leading to a 8 foot wide by 20 foot long grated terminal platform with permanent hand railing along the permanent of the structure and no mooring sign along the Florida Bay, and to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in/over U.S. navigable waters. Marina improvements will enable mooring for up to 30 vessels for the subject lot. All proposed slips will be used by the unit owners of the property currently designated by RE: 00327150-000100.
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: Prior to the start of construction, turbidity curtains will be deployed to isolate the construction site from ambient waters.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If it is determined that the issuance of a DA permit is appropriate, mitigation will be required. The applicant has indicated that the mitigation proposal will be based on the Keys Restoration Fund (KRF). Time lag and risk will be a required component of any mitigation requirement.
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 real estate parcel number is 00327150-000100 and is not on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered manatee were evaluated using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (Manatee Key), dated April 2013. Use of the Manatee Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G > H > I > J > L > N > O > P1 “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect.” The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and Acropora sp. critical habitat. The Corps has reached a no effect determination on Acropora sp. and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service’s 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 approximately 8,092 square feet of submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine life. The Corps has not independently verified if wetlands and/or submerged aquatic resources area located within the project footprint. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 and confirmation of resources located within the project footprint has not been verified by Corps personnel. Site inspections will be conducted by the Corps and/or benthic surveys will be required to document existing site conditions within the project footprint prior to reaching a final decision on the project.
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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176 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, Maria Bezanilla, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176, by electronic mail at Maria.I.Bezanilla@usace.army.mil, by fax at (305) 526-7184, or by telephone at (305) 779-6057.
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.