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: Pacetta LLC
Mr. Lyder Johnson
4894 Front Street
Ponce Inlet, Florida 32127
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would impact waters of the United States within the Halifax River. The project is located west of Sailfish Drive in Section 30, Township 16 South, Range 34 East, Volusia County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 proceed to exit 256 east, CR 421. Turn South on South Atlantic Avenue to Beach Street. Turn west to Sailfish Drive.
APPROXIMATE COORDINATES: Latitude 29.08102 °
Basic: Commercial Marina
Overall: To modify the existing 8 slip marina with the addition of 47 new slips near Ponce Inlet in Volusia County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Pacetta site currently supports three (3) land use types/vegetative communities:
140 – Commercial and Services: This land use cover type represents the upland located in the eastern portion of the site. The area is currently maintained grass with remnant live oaks. The land is zoned for riverfront commercial use.
184 – Marinas: The western portion of the property includes an existing marina facility and a storm damaged dining deck.
510 – Streams and Waterways: The undeveloped portion on the western portion of the site is the Halifax River.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to expand an existing marina facility including the construction of an additional 65,957 sf of fixed and floating structures, with 47 new slips, for a total marina layout of 75,677 sf over water with 55 total slips.
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:
“Proposes to install turbidity barriers throughout construction and to comply with Manatee In-Water Conditions, Sea Turtle Conditions, North Atlantic Right Whale Conditions, Small Tooth Sawfish Conditions, and adhere to dock construction guidelines. All construction materials, piles, stringers, headers, decking, etc. will be stored above the mean high water line on the upland or on the barge, never in water.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“No mitigation is proposed.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The permit area has been extensively modified by previous work; and 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 executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report for the area of the proposed project. The RAR indicated that the proposed project “may effect” the West Indian manatee. Because these species are unlikely to be found in the vicinity of the Action Area, the proposed action will have “no effect” on the Atlantic salt marsh snake (Nerodia clarkii taeniata) and Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). The Corps will request concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
WEST INDIAN MANATEE: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), pursuant to review of the “State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida” (April 2013). Review of the Manatee key resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B>C>G>H>I>J>K “may effect”. The applicant agrees to follow the ‘Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work (2011)’.
ATLANTIC SALT MARSH SNAKE: The Corps has determined the proposed project have “no effect” on the Atlantic salt marsh snake (Nerodia Clarkii taeniata). The Atlantic salt marsh snake inhabits coastal salt marshes and mangrove swamps. Specifically, it occurs along shallow tidal creeks and pools, in a saline environment ranging from brackish to full strength. It is often associated with fiddler crab burrows. These conditions do not present themselves onsite. In consideration of the location of the project site, the work proposed, and the information noted above, the Corps determined the project would have “no effect” on this species.
FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY: The Corps has determined the proposed project will have “no effect” the on Florida Scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). The Florida scrub-jay inhabits sand pine and xeric oak scrub, and scrubby flatwoods, which occur in some of the highest and driest areas of Florida – ancient sandy ridges that run down the middle of the state, old sand dunes along the coasts, and sandy deposits along rivers in the interior of the state. These conditions do not present themselves onsite. In consideration of the location of the project site and the nature of the work proposed, the Corps determined the project would have “no effect” on this species.
ENDANGERED SPECIES NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE (NMFS): The Corps has determined the proposed project is not likely to affect the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis). The project may affect, but is not likely to affect essential fish habitat.
NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE: The Corps has determined the proposed project will have “no effect” the on North Atlantic right whale. Although sightings are reported offshore of Ponce Inlet regularly, they are unlikely to occur in the inlet or nearshore habitats within the Action Area, which is not designated as critical habitat for the species. To avoid potential encounters with whales, the applicant will implement the NOAA’s Vessel Strike Avoidance Measures
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This public notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. There is no EFH found on the property. The Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed action would have no impact on EFH. Our final determination relative to project impacts is subject to review and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
SHRIMP: The project site area supports EFH for shrimp (Farfantepenaeus spp., Penaeus sp., and/or Litopenaeus spp.). Areas that meet the criteria for essential fish habitat-habitat areas of particular concern (EFH-HAPCs) for penaeid shrimp include all coastal inlets, all state designated nursery habitats of particular importance to shrimp, and state-identified overwintering areas. In consideration of the location of the project site and the work proposed, the project “may affect, but is not likely to affect” these species.
SNAPPER/GROUPER: The Action Area supports snapper (Lutjanus spp.) and grouper (Mycteroperca spp. and/or Epinephelus spp.). Areas that meet the criteria for EFH-HAPCs for species in the snapper-grouper management unit include medium to high profile offshore hard bottoms where spawning normally occurs; localities of known or likely periodic spawning aggregations; nearshore hard bottom areas; mangrove habitat; seagrass habitat; oyster/shell habitat; all coastal inlets; all state-designated nursery habitats of particular importance to snapper grouper; and Council-designated Artificial Reef Special Management Zones. In consideration of the location of the project site and the work proposed, the project “may affect, but is not likely to affect” these species.
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 Corps has verified the extent of Federal jurisdiction.
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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Cocoa, Florida 32926 within 15 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, John Baehre, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Cocoa, Florida 32926, by electronic mail at John.M.Baehre@usace.army.mil or by telephone at (321)504-3771 extension 13.
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: 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 of 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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.