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).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

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SAJ-2011-00037 (MOD-MLB)

Published Jan. 27, 2021
Expiration date: 2/26/2021

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) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:

APPLICANT: Gregory Murray
City Manager, City of Punta Gorda
326 West Marion Avenue
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect the City of Punta Gorda’s residential canals along the banks of Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles, in Sections 11-14, 19, 20, 24, and 25, Township 41 and Range 22 East, Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: The canal systems are located west of U.S. 41/South Tamiami Trail between Jones Loop Road and the Peace River.

Punta Gorda Isles: Latitude: 26.910840°, Longitude: -82.074271°
Burnt Store Isles: Latitude: 26.888293°, Longitude: -82.040480°

Basic: Shoreline stabilization
Overall: Replacement of existing deteriorating and failing seawalls within the residential canal systems of Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles in Charlotte County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles are systems of manmade, residential, saltwater canals located in Charlotte County, Florida. Punta Gorda Isles consists of 18 miles of seawall and is bordered to the north by the Peace River, to the west by mangrove wetlands and Charlotte Harbor, and to the east by additional residential development. Burnt Store Isles consists of 91 miles of seawall and is bordered to the north by the north fork of Alligator Creek, to the west and south by Alligator Creek, and to the east by Twin Isles Country Club.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to modify the existing permit, file number SAJ-2011-00037, issued on March 10, 2011. The modification would include the following: 1) replacement of approximately 95,635 linear feet of dilapidated seawalls by installing new seawalls eighteen (18) inches waterward of the existing seawalls; 2) enhancing approximately 50,281 linear feet of existing rip-rap; 3) adding approximately 175,816 linear feet (56,977 cubic yards) of new rip-rap waterward of the seawalls; and 4) placing 15,360 linear feet (6,471 cubic yards) of rip-rap around 640 outfall pipes to prevent undermining of the seawalls during storm events. The seawalls would be jetted in place and the rip-rap will be placed by barge with heavy equipment (trac-hoe). The duration of in-water work will take place on an as-needed basis, year-round, with a permit duration of ten (10) years.

PROJECT HISTORY/BACKGROUND: The Punta Gorda Isles canal system and its associated seawalls were constructed in the early 1960’s and late 1970’s. The system consists of approximately 50 miles of canal and approximately 100 miles of concrete seawall. The Burnt Store Isles canal system was constructed in the late 1970’s and consists of approximately 7.5 miles of canal and approximately 15 miles of concrete seawall. As such, both Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles have established a special taxing district within the city, which provides for maintenance of canals, waterways, and navigable channels, in addition to maintenance/reconstruction of bulkheads and retaining walls. Part of the aforementioned maintenance includes the repair, removal, or replacement of deteriorating seawalls, which is stipulated by City Ordinance No. 1156-96, to be handled and performed by the City of Punta Gorda Public Works Department.

On March 10, 2011, the Corps issued a 10-year permit to the City of Punta Gorda (file number SAJ-2011-0003) to replace portions of approximately 480,744 linear feet of concrete seawall within Punta Gorda Isles and portions of approximately 96,413 linear feet of concrete seawall within Burnt Store Isles on an as­needed basis depending on the level of disrepair of the existing seawall. The proposed seawalls were to be placed in the exact same footprint as the existing seawalls with no encroachment waterward. The placement of rip-rap was not authorized by this permit. It is estimated that of the total amount of seawall present, approximately 6,000 to 8,000 linear feet of dilapidated seawall, will be replaced on an annual basis.

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 contractor will employ best management practices during all phases of construction to contain turbidity meeting state water quality standards. Floating turbidity curtains with weighted skirts extending to the bottom will be installed around the working area. The turbidity curtains will remain in place until construction is complete and turbidity levels are compliant with State standards. The curtains will be monitored daily to make sure that construction meets state water quality standards.”.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: There are no proposed impacts, therefore, no mitigation is proposed.

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 is not likely to adversely affect, the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), or Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). No further consultation with the Service is required for these species.

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Wood stork (Mycteria americana), Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis), Piping plover (Charadrius melodus), Everglade snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), and/or their designated critical habitat. No further consultation with the Service is required for these species.

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 project site does not contain EFH; therefore, the Corps has determined that the proposed project would have no adverse effect to EFH.

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 Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd. Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919 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, Michelle L. Bartley, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd. Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919; by electronic mail at; or, by telephone at (239)334-1975 ext. 0006.

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. 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.