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: Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Biscayne Bay. The project site is located at 10800 Collins Avenue in Sections 14 and 23, Township 52 south, Range 42 East, Miami Beach, FL 33154. ( Folio #30-2214-008-0010)
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 to NE 203rd St/Ives Dairy Road (Exit 16); turn right onto Biscayne Blvd; turn left onto FL-856E/William Lehman Causeway; merge onto A1A South/Collins Avenue
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 25.917098°
PROJECT PURPOSE: Improvements to public boat ramp facilities for public health and safety purposes and flood protection from rising tides and seasonal weather events.
Basic: The basic project purpose is the repair and replacement of the existing boat ramp structure and associated piers as well as renovations to the parking area at the public park.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the repair and replacement of the existing boat ramp structure and associated piers as well as renovations to the parking area with the public park at Haulover Marina in North Miami Beach.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is an existing public boat ramp facility which contains 6 fixed concrete docks. The project site also contains several wetland areas that are tidally connected during high tide events. A benthic resource assessment was conducted on July 8th and 9th, 2019, to identify the presence and absence of protected marine resources within the project area. At the time of the marine benthic survey, the seagrass composition within the boat ramp marina basin consisted of a mixture of paddle grass (Halophila decipiens), turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) and Johnson's seagrass (Halophila johnsonii). Eight small patches of Johnson's seagrass were identified.
The site also contains non-listed encrusting star corals growing on the existing concrete ramp areas. A total of 763 Scleractinian corals were identified and measured within the benthic survey area consisting of Siderastrea sidereal (761), Phyllangia americana (1), and Solenastrea hyades (1). A total of 90 corals were measured at 5 cm or greater in diameter consisting of one species type.
The wetland areas consist mainly of white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), black
mangrove (Avicennia germinans), and red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). Other native vegetative species include cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), banyan tree, seagrape, and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). Exotic species observed include seaside mahoe and Brazilian pepper and comprised approximately 10% of the community structure.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct improvements to public boat ramp facilities for public health and safety purposes and flood protection from rising tides and seasonal weather events. The work will include the removal of existing fixed docks and replacement with floating docks; raising the elevation of the boat ramps; providing ADA accessibility for the boat ramp. Additional parking lot and grading improvements are proposed for flood protection of the parking area.
Specific project components include:
Removal of 6 fix concrete finger piers associated with the existing boat ramps.
Repair and replacement of the existing boat ramps with additional bedding stone fill (0.36 acres total surface water) to elevate the existing ramps and the installation of new 8” concrete slabs.
Installation of 311 linear feet of sheet pile footer along the base of the new boat ramps.
Installation of 290 cubic yards of riprap at the base of the existing sheet pile footer.
Installation of 5 new 7 foot wide by 66 foot long concrete floating docks and 1 new 14 foot wide by 64.5 foot long, ADA compliant concrete floating dock. All docks will connect to uplands with a 4.5 foot by 39 foot aluminum gangway and be supported by a total of 18- 14” concrete piles.
The project also proposes to fill a total of 0.29 acres of mangrove wetlands within wetland area #3 and# 4 for improving flood protection in the pubic parking area adjacent to the boat ramps.
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: It is anticipated that there will be no impacts to SAV that are found near the boat ramp facilities. Every prudent and feasible effort was made to avoid and minimize impacts to threatened and endangered species or their habitats. However, due to the proximity of wetlands lying directly adjacent to and within the limits of the project, the complete avoidance of wetlands is not practical with the improvements proposed. Turbidity containment measures will be employed during in-water work activities. The turbidity curtain will be installed in the boat basin prior to construction and it will remain during all in-water activities. A turbidity monitoring program will be initiated by the contractor. In addition, Best Management Practices (BMPs) typically associated with construction projects will be properly implemented and maintained throughout all construction activities, including temporary erosion control measures, minimizing the potential for short-term indirect impacts during construction. Temporary erosion control measures will consist of using silt fences, inlet protection, and turbidity barriers. Thus, the proposed project is not expected to adversely affect the quality of receiving waters, such that the water quality standards. Non-Federally listed corals impacted by the boat ramp construction will be relocated to a nearby recipient site. Two small isolated mangrove wetlands located within the parking lot are proposed to be filled in and mitigated for by purchase of mitigation credits.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Impacts will be compensated by Miami-Dade County through the one-time purchase of credits from Everglades Mitigation Bank to offset all impacts. Proposing to relocate all coral (5 cm or greater in size) found in the impact area. Corals will be relocated to another inland site in the Haulover Park/Intracoastal Waterway vicinity (Coral Relocation Plan, 2020).
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 (“MANLAA”) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered manatee were evaluated using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (Manatee Key), dated 25 April 2013. Use of the Manatee Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G > H > I > N > O>P “MANLAA.” This determination is partially based on the applicant following the standard manatee construction precautions for the proposed activity as well as the evidence of previously existing slips. The Corps has concurrence with this determination from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), pursuant to the Manatee Key.
The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) designated critical habitat would have “no affect” on Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii), elkhorn and staghorn corals (Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis) and their designated critical habitat and the other 5 listed coral species found in Dade- County: pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), lobed star coral (Orbicella annularis), mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata), boulder star coral (Orbicella franksi), and rough cactus coral (Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service consultation with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
The Corps has determined that the project will have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species, and/or designated critical habit
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 0.36 acres of marine habitat utilized by various life stages of corals and coastal migratory fish species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH in Biscayne Bay. 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 #203, Miami, FL 33176 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, Alberto Gonzalez, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue #203, Miami, FL 33176; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (305)779-6055.
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.