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: City of Fernandina Beach
Attn: Mr. Dale Martin
204 Ash Street
Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (open water) associated with the Amelia River. The project site is located west of 3 Front Street in open waters of the Amelia River, west of the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW) Federal channel, Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Jacksonville, take Interstate 95 north to Exit 373 (FL-200/FL-A1A) and turn right at the fork toward Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island. Take FL-200/FL-A1A onto Amelia Island and north to Fernandina Beach 14.3 miles to Ash Street and its terminus at Front Street. The marina will be on the left and the mooring field is due west of the marina, west of the federal channel.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.671560°
Basic: The basic project purpose is access to navigable waters.
Overall: The overall project purpose is access to navigable waters with the expansion of a mooring field on the Amelia River in Nassau County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed 80.1-acre project site encompasses unvegetated open water ranging in depth from 6 feet to 30 feet below Mean Low Water (MLW) and 20 existing mooring positions. The area surrounding the project site includes the Amelia River, the Federal channel of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Fernandina Harbor Channel, uninhabited islands, and the Fernandina Marina. Historic downtown Fernandina Beach is located to the east, which includes Front Street and hotels, local shops, and restaurants.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to expand the existing mooring field from 20 to 59 vessel mooring buoys to accommodate vessels up to 60 feet in length. The proposed mooring field expansion would be located at least 100 feet from the near design edge of the Federal channel to the east. The existing 20 mooring buoys would be replaced with new anchors and assemblies in new positions. The proposed vessel mooring buoys would be installed using helical screw anchors and would utilize an upline assembly to prevent riverbed scouring. The existing 20 mooring buoys were permitted on August 2, 2006 and the permit expired July 24, 2006.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of historic properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus), and North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined that the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus); however, no consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is necessary based on the sequential determination made using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013.
The Corps has determined that the proposed project will have no effect on the Wood Stork (Myceteria americana); and, no consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is necessary based on the sequential determination made using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key For the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008.
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. The proposal would impact approximately 88.5-square-feet of the riverbed (approximately 1.5-square-feet at the point each of the 59 mooring buoys attached to the riverbed) over the 80.1 acre mooring field boundary within estuarine, unconsolidated bottom habitat utilized by various life stages of shrimp species and snapper/grouper complex. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Amelia River. Our final determination relative to project impacts is subject to review and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Navigation: Based on the Florida State Plane coordinates provided by the applicant, the waterward edge of the proposed structure is greater than 100 feet away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel.
SECTION 408: The applicant will not require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, would not alter, occupy, or use a Corps Civil Works project.
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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 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, Terri M. Mashour, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (904) 232-1940; or, by telephone at (904) 570-4512.
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.