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: Doug Bradshaw
City of Key West, Port and Marine Services Director
201 William Street
Key West, FL 33040
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Key West Harbor, directly connected to the Gulf of Mexico. The project site is located at the Mallory Square Pier, 400-402 Wall Street, immediately adjacent to Key West Harbor, tributary to waters of the Gulf; legally described as Key West Part of Lots 2-3-4-5 Square 3; G64-274-275 (Cultural Preservation Society Inc-Lease); in Section 06, Township 68 South, Range 25 East; Key West, Monroe County, Florida 33040. (MM± 0-Gulf) (RE# 00000170-000000).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Miami, drive south on U.S.1 Overseas Highway to approximately mile marker 3.8; turn right onto North Roosevelt Boulevard, follow the road for approximately 3.5 miles, right at Simonton Street and right onto Front Street and west onto the Mallory Square.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.559424° North
Longitude: -81.808209° West
Basic: The basic project purpose is to replace, expand and upgrade the Mallory Square Pier.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to replace, expand and upgrade the Mallory Square Pier for the mooring and berthing flexibility of cruise ships at Key West, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Mallory Square Pier is located in Key West’s historic Old Town, immediately adjacent to the Key West Bight Federal channel tributary to the Gulf of Mexico. The Pier is operated by the City of Key West to berth cruise vessels that use the facility for port of call operations. The Mallory T-Pier has been used as a cruise vessel berth for over 40 years. The structure is a critical infrastructure for the City of key West, supporting the mooring of cruise ships that are considered essential to the economic viability of the City. A significant portion of the existing structure consists of a concrete cap with concrete support piles. The existing T-shaped concrete Pier terminal platform is approximately 1,856 square feet (116’ long by 16’ wide) with a 20’ by 16’ access walkway. There are four existing 6 ft. by 12 ft. foam filled fenders on the structures that will remain in place. There are also three existing breasting dolphin platforms adjacent to the pier. Portions of the main pier and one of the breasting dolphins have been replaced in recent years due to deterioration and storm damage. According to the information provided to the Corps, the main pier and access ramp are several decades old and do not provide sufficient mooring force capacity or flexibility for safe passenger embarkation and debarkation operations. A benthic survey submitted to the Corps indicates a total of 823 corals, totaling 202,492 cm2, were identified within the surveyed area including two Federally-listed Threatened species; Orbicella annularis and Orbicella faveolata. Based on the location of these resources within the proposed project area, it can be determined that approximately 205 coral colonies totaling approximately 54,773 cm2 will be directly impacted by the proposed project, including Federally-listed corals on the South Dolphin pilings. No seagrass or hardbottom habitat was identified in the submitted benthic survey. The seafloor was described as loose sand and scattered rubble and debris lacking a defined benthic community (e.g. seagrass, macroalgae). (see enclosed benthic survey for additional details).
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to replace, expand and upgrade the existing Mallory Square T-shaped Pier and Access Ramp and install two (2) new steel monopile mooring dolphins to improve the mooring and berthing flexibility of cruise ship classes up to 664’ and for passenger embark and debark operations. Specifically, the work consist on demolishing approximately 1,872.2-square feet (ft²) of the existing structure and construct a 5,810 ft² T-shaped concrete pier consisting of a 410 ft² (20.5’ long by 20’ wide) access walkway and a 5,400 ft² (216’ long by 25’ wide) terminal platform with thirty five (35) 36” diameter new steel pipe piles with concrete bent and cap and to install two (2) 60” diameter monopiles with 200 metric ton t-head bollard, as depicted on the enclosed submitted work plans (8 pages) and associated supporting documents. Temporary turbidity curtains will be deployed for the duration of all construction activities, in/over waters of the United States. Work is in U.S. navigable waters in accordance with the enclosed site plans (8 pages) and associated supporting documents.
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:
Temporary turbidity curtains will be deployed for the duration of all construction activities, in/over waters of the United States.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If it is determined that the issuance of a DA permit is appropriate, mitigation will be required. If mitigation is required by the Army Corps of Engineers, the appropriate mitigation will be determined with a UMAM and payment made to Keys Restoration Fund.
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). Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered West Indian manatee were evaluated using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 (Key). Use of the Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G > H > I > N > 0 > P (4), may affect, not likely to adversely affect “MANLAA”. This determination is partially based on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011. By letter dated April 25, 2013, the Corps received concurrence from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding MANLAA determinations for the West Indian manatee in accordance with 50 CFR 402.14(b)1 and pursuant to the Key.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), kemps ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) species and and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox). A no effect determination was reached on smalltooth sawfish critical habitat, Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these determinations 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 12,500 ft² of submerged aquatic resources, this includes a buffer, surveyed area around the work footprint, utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida, 33176, within 30 days from the date of this notice (i.e. on or before May 14th, 2021).
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, Gletys Guardia-Montoya at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at Gletys.Guardia-Montoya@usace.army.mil, or by telephone at 305-526-2515.
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.