Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

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SAJ-2016-02467 (SP-HMM)

Published Oct. 30, 2020
Expiration date: 11/14/2020

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:  Escambia County Board of County Commission
                       c/o Joy Jones
                       3363 West Park Place
                       Pensacola, FL 32505

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Santa Rosa Sound. The project is located at 400 Quietwater Beach Road, in Section 15, Township 3 South, Range 29 West, Pensacola Beach, Escambia County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From downtown Pensacola, head east on Bayfront Parkway/US-98 to Gregory Street/US-98 and continue south across the Pensacola Bay Bridge to Gulf Breeze. Continue southeast on Gulf Breeze Parkway/US-98 then turn south onto Pensacola Beach Road/Highway 399. The project is located approximately 0.6 miles east of the tollbooth, on the north side of the road at 400 Quietwater Beach Road.

Latitude 30.335707 North
Longitude 87.141189 West


Basic: Pier

Overall: Reconstruction and modification of the existing Quietwater Beach Pier/Ferry Landing damaged as a result of Hurricane Sally (2020), in Santa Rosa Sound, in Escambia County.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of a sandy public beach and an existing T-shaped public pier with a 2-slip ferry landing used for National Park Service (NPS) ferries to transport passengers between the City of Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, and Fort Pickens within the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The existing pier is comprised of a 9-foot (widening to 10.2-foot) by 357.7-foot main access pier, a 10-foot by 603-foot T-pier, and a ferry pier landing structure comprised of a 40-foot by 8-foot fixed pier, a 40-foot by 8-foot gangway, and a 20-foot by 30-foot floating dock. The area between the T-pier and the shoreline is a public swimming area and the north side of the pier allows for transient public mooring. Water depths range from 0 to -12 ft. The site is surrounded by Santa Rosa Sound to the north, commercial developments to the south, and commercial docking facilities to the east and west.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to reconstruct the existing public pier due to damage caused by Hurricane Sally with a modification to the width of the main access pier (expansion to 16-feet) to improve access to the public ferry. In addition, a “swim area barrier” consisting of pilings with signage would be relocated within the areas on the east and west side of the main access pier and a 10-foot section of dock would be completely removed at the east end of the T-pier. The new pier would consist of a 16-foot by 357.7-foot main access pier and a 10-foot by 593-foot T-pier (with the ferry pier landing on the north side of the T-pier remaining unchanged).

Repair of the Quietwater Beach Pier/Ferry Landing would provide an alternate method of transportation to/from Pensacola Beach via the NPS ferries that is urgently needed due to the current closure of the Pensacola Bay Bridge/US-98 (connecting Pensacola to Gulf Breeze). The Pensacola Bay Bridge was severely damaged by Hurricane Sally and is not currently operational.

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 would minimize impacts to the aquatic environment by reconstructing the pier within the existing footprint with an expansion to only the main access pier, by utilizing existing infrastructure to the maximum extent practicable while repairing hurricane damaged areas, and by utilizing Best Management Practices (BMPs) during construction. No marsh or seagrass would be impacted by the proposed work.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Due to the nature of the project, the applicant did not offer compensatory mitigation.

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 would not likely adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) as determined using the 2013 Manatee Key, following couplets A > B > C > G > H > I > J> L > N > O > P. The Corps has also determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Kemp’s Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). 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 an additional 0.06 acre of estuarine subtidal unconsolidated bottom (due to shading from the expansion of the access pier) utilized by various life stages of 6 species of shark (Sandbar, Scalloped Hammerhead, Tiger, Spinner, Atlantic Sharpnose, and Silky), Red Drum, 4 species of shrimp (Brown, White, Pink, and Royal red), and 43 species of reef fish. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries. 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.

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 Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, Florida, 32502 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, Holly Millsap, in writing at the Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, FL 32502, by electronic mail at, by fax at (850) 433-8160, or by telephone at (850) 470-9823.

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.