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: Manatee County
Parks and Natural Resources Department
c/o Mr. Charlie Hunsicker
5502 33rd Ave Dr. W
Bradenton, FL 34209
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States in Sarasota Bay. The project site is located at the existing South Coquina boat ramp facility at 1465 Gulf Drive South, in Section 09, Township 35 South, Range 16 East, in Bradenton Beach, Manatee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-75 S, take exit 228 to merge onto I-275 N toward St. Petersburg. Take exit 2 for US-41. Turn left onto US-41 S/S Tamiami Trail. Turn right onto FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W. Turn left onto 75th St W. Turn right onto FL 684/Cortez Rd W. Turn left onto Gulf Dr N and drive 0.3 mile. At the traffic circle, continue straight onto FL-789 S/Gulf Dr S for 1.3 miles. Then turn left into the project area.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Waterway access.
Overall: Improvements to the South Coquina boat ramp facility to improve public waterway access in Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project is located at an existing county-operated boat ramp facility at the southern end of Anna Maria Island in Sarasota Bay. The facility currently supports a concrete boat ramp, concrete seawalls that run parallel to the shoreline, then perpendicular to the shoreline, along the outsides of two wood loading docks. The boat ramp supports two lanes. Information from the applicant shows that seagrass is present in the project area primarily on the outsides of the two docks.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to perform the following work in waters of the U.S.:
1) Remove the existing boat ramp, concrete seawalls and wood docks;
2) Construct a new 30 foot wide by 61 foot long concrete transition to a 30 foot wide by 65 foot long concrete boat ramp underlain with bedding stone and filter fabric, with a 30 foot wide by 20 foot long end treatment consisting of concrete articulating block mattress (total of 0.049 acre and 180 cy of fill placed below the high tide line);
3) Mechanically dredge 90 cubic yards of sediment from a 20 foot wide by 80 foot long area waterward of the boat ramp;
4) Construct a new 1,040 square foot wood loading dock on the north side of the boat ramp and a 1,372 square foot loading dock on the south side of the boat ramp;
5) Construct a new steel sheet pile seawall encased in a 2 foot wide concrete cap along the shoreline and dock access walkways on both the north and south docks (each wall measures approximately 75 feet long from the high tide line, resulting in a max of approximately 300 square feet of total fill below the high tide line).
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 new seawalls and docks are proposed in substantially the same footprints as the existing features. The project was redesigned from a previous concept to avoid and minimize seagrass impacts. Turbidity curtains will be in place around the construction area and will be placed so as to avoid impacts to surrounding resources.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant did not offer compensatory mitigation since the project avoids and minimizes impacts to resources.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined the permit area has been extensively modified by previous work and there is little likelihood a historic property may be affected.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the Manatee, dated April 2013 (Manatee Key). Use of the Manatee Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G > N > O > P3 > may affect, not likely to adversely affect. This determination is partially based on the applicant following the standard manatee construction conditions.
The Corps determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbracata). The Corps evaluated the proposed work utilizing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)—Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JaxBO) dated November 20, 2017. The Corps has programmatic concurrence pursuant to the JaxBO and no individual concurrence is required.
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 82 square feet of seagrass habitat. 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.
NAVIGATION: Based on the use of GIS software, the waterward edge of the proposed structures are approximately 720 feet away from the near bottom edge of Longboat Pass and approximately 2,400 feet away from the near bottom edge of the Gulf 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 jurisdictional line has not been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification is 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 Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33610 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, Jessica Cordwell, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120 Tampa, Florida 33610, by telephone at (813)769-7067, by fax at (813)769-7061, or by electronic mail at Jessica.L.Cordwell@usace.army.mil.
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, aesthetics, 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.
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.