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.

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SAJ-2020-00468 (SP-HMM)

Published Nov. 3, 2020
Expiration date: 11/24/2020

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 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:  Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners
                       c/o Scott Bitterman
                       1250 North Eglin Parkway
                       Shalimar, Florida 32579

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Santa Rosa Sound. The project is located at Santa Rosa Boulevard, in Section 0, Township 2 South, Range 24 West, in Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From Hurlburt Field Air Force Base, head east on US Highway 98/Miracle Strip Parkway (6.4 miles) over Brooks bridge/Santa Rosa Sound. Turn right onto Santa Rosa Boulevard and head west (0.6 miles). The project will be on the north side of the road, on the undeveloped lot 550 feet west of Bluefish Drive.

                                                                          Longitude 86.607278 West


Basic: Boat Basin and Dock

Overall: Reconfiguration and improvements to an existing boat basin and dock, in Santa Rosa Sound, Okaloosa County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of an existing man-made (upland cut) boat basin with feet of dilapidated bulkhead and 2,215-square feet of dilapidated marginal dock and finger piers around the perimeter of the basin 483-linear. There are mooring pilings within the basin, a 38-linear foot east wave attenuator and 37-linear foot west wave attenuator at the entrance to the basin, and invasive emergent vegetation (Phragmites australis) located along portions of the shoreline behind the dock. Water depths range from 0 to -5 ft. The site is surrounded by Santa Rosa Sound to the north, residential and commercial development to the east and west, and the undeveloped remainder of the lot to the south.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to reconfigure and upgrade the existing boat basin and structures. The existing structures and invasive emergent vegetation would be removed. The new structures would include the construction of a 1,368-square foot marginal dock (along the east side of the basin), a 246-linear foot bulkhead with backfill (east and south side of the basin), an ADA accessible 216-square foot kayak launch and 134-square foot stormwater outfall (south side of the basin), and a 3,685-square foot living shoreline (west side of the basin). The living shoreline would consist of the installation of five 5-foot by 25-foot oyster breakwaters and planting native emergent vegetation comprised of 618 Spartina alterniflora (below the 1-foot contour line on the west side of the basin) and 1,020 Spartina patens (above the 1-foot contour line on the east and west sides of the basin. At the basin entrance, the proposed work would consist of a 16-linear foot east wave attenuator with 73-square feet of adjacent riprap and a 12-linear foot west wave attenuator with 153-square feet of adjacent riprap. The wave attenuators would be placed within the footprints of the existing attenuators. No dredging is proposed.

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: “Impacts to Santa Rosa Sound are minimized through the renovation of the boat basin structures. The living shoreline will replace the western marginal dock to stabilize the shoreline, provide marine life habitat and improve water quality within the basin. A turbidity barrier will be located at the entrance to the boat basin and relocated as construction activities warrant to ensure water quality standards are maintained and impacts to Sant Rosa Sound are minimized. All debris will be removed upon completion of the project.”

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 and stated “Compensatory mitigation will not be required for these impacts due to the project being a replacement of existing boat basin facility and the installation of a living shoreline constructed of native vegetation species.”

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 the 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 0.04 acre of estuarine subtidal habitat due to shading (0.1 acre less than the original structure) and 0.02 acre of estuarine subtidal habitat due to installation of breakwaters and riprap utilized by various life stages of 3 shark species (Bull, Spinner, Blacktip), four shrimp species (brown, white, pink, Royal red), coastal migratory pelagic species, red drum, 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 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, 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.