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 to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Joseph Murton
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The project site is located at 27344 St. Lucie Lane legally described as Book 6, part of lot 16 and all of lot 17, Breezeswept Beach Estates, in Section 32, Township 66 South, Range 29 East, Little Torch Key, Monroe County, FL (RE# 00203760-000200).
Directions to the site are as follows: From US-1, otherwise known as Overseas Hwy, turn onto W Indies Dr and then turn left to stay on W Indies Dr. Turn right on to St. Lucie Ln and the destination is on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.655956°
Basic: The basic project purpose is for residential housing and boating access.
Overall: The overall project purpose residential housing and boating access in Ramrod Key, Monroe County, FL.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The subject property is a vacant lot which received a 3.08 ADID score. The south property line abuts a manmade canal which provides access to the Atlantic Ocean. Onsite vegetation includes mature green buttonwoods, sea oxeye daisy, sea purslane, cord-grass, needle-rush, and Brazilian pepper; as well as signs of inundation. The vegetative cover is continuous across the entire lot and a narrow mangrove/buttonwood fringe is present along the canal shoreline.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a single family residence, and a 300 sq ft dock with a 32 sq ft access ramp and 15K boat lift. Specifically the applicant wants to place 625 cubic yards of fill in a wetland to construct a single family residence and to build a T-dock with a 4 ft by 8 ft access walkway with a 6 ft by 60 ft terminal platform and a 15k boatlift and to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in/over U.S. navigable waters.
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. These will remain in place until all construction induced turbidity has subsided and water quality has returned to pre-construction conditions.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If mitigation is required by the Army Corps of Engineers the appropriate mitigation will be determined with a UMAM and payment made to Keys Restoration Fund.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-G-H-I-J-L-N-O-P may affect, not likely to adversely affect. This determination partially was based on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the manatee dated April 2013 and addendum dated May 13, 2019.
The real estate parcel number is 00217730-000000 and is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County for the following species: Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri), and the Silver rice rat (Oryzomys palustris natator).
The subject parcel is listed on the FWS 2011 Suitable Habitat List for the Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Since critical habitat has not been designated for the indigo snake, potential impacts to D. c. couperi were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key dated August 1, 2017 (Snake Key). Due to the permit being conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for The Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and project construction, use of the Snake Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A….Project is located solely in open water or salt marsh, “no effect.” Therefore, pursuant to the Snake Key, no further consultation with the FWS is required.
Potential impacts to the Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit were evaluated using the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) Species Key, dated July 29, 2013, and resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D > F “may affect, but not likely to adversely affect.” This determination is partially based on the applicant being provided the cat brochure. The Corps received programmatic concurrence from the FWS for projects that have a “NLAA determination; therefore, no incidental take will occur and no further consultation with the FWS is required.”
Potential impacts to the silver rice rat were evaluated using the Silver Rice Rat (Oryzomys palustris natator) Species Key, dated July 29. 2013, and resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C, “may affect.” Further consultation with the FWS is required.
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) and their designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) species. A no effect determination was reached on Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox). 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 approximately 5600 square feet of a submerged wetland lot, a wetland shoreline and submerged bottom in the canal utilized by various life stages of marine species. 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 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33176 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, Megan Clouser, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33176; by electronic mail at Megan.L.Clouser@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (305)526-7182.
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.