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-2008-03696 (SP-LEO)

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS - REGULATORY
Published July 16, 2021
Expiration date: 8/6/2021

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 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: City of Anna Maria
Attn: LeAnne Addy
10005 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria, FL 34216

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located on the northeast end of Anna Maria Island, just east of Anna Maria Public Beach at 316 North Bay Boulevard and west of the Anna Maria City Pier at 100 North Bay Boulevard, in Section 18, Township 34 South, Range 16 East, Manatee County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Heading south on I-75, take Exit 228 to I-275 N to St. Petersburg. Take exit 2 to US-41S, turn left on US-41S/Tamiami Trail, turn right to FL-64W/Manatee Ave W, turn right to Gulf Drive, turn right to Marina Drive, continue to Palm Drive, merge onto Gulf Drive, turn right to Pine Ave, and turn left to Bay Blvd, project site will be on the right.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Latitude 27.533637°
Longitude -82.732747°

PROJECT PURPOSE:
Basic: Navigation and Shoreline Restoration
Overall: Maintenance dredging Lake La Vista Inlet and depositing dredged material as beach fill in Manatee County, FL.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: Project site is an entrance channel to Lake La Vista on Anna Maria Island. This is the sole entrance channel to waterfront homes and businesses for this area of Anna Maria Island. Two rock jetties (artificial shoreline stabilization structures built to protect inland human constructions and fight erosion) are located on either side of the inlet entrance. Maintenance of the channel is required on a frequent basis due to continuous accretion of sand from lateral shoreline drift. No seagrasses, mangroves, or other submerged aquatic resources have been identified in the project footprint.

Boring data from 2008 showed that most of the material surveyed at the dredge site was comprised of fine (54-98%) and medium grain (1-30%) sands. A small percentage (1-11%) was coarse sand, with silts (1-4%) and organics (0-1%). Per a 2008 Biological Opinion material dredged fits the U.S Fish and Wildlife Services criteria for suitable beach fill material. There were two previous Corps permits (SAJ-1993-1968_IP-MN and SAJ-2008-03696 IP-MEP) issued for the same work at the project site.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to perform periodic hydraulic maintenance dredging of Lake La Vista Inlet over a period of 10 years. Work includes dredging existing 60 ft wide by 500 ft long (0.7 ac) channel to a depth of -7.7 ft MLW (-9.0 ft NAVD), to remove up to 2,979 cubic yards of accumulated sandy material and discharging 2,979 cubic yards of beach compatible sand over 0.23 acres of shoreline below the annual high tide line at a 10:1 vertical slope to restore 650 linear feet of shoreline. If needed dredged material may also be discharged in a designated upland stockpile area immediately adjacent to the Lake La Vista Inlet. However, dredged material placed at the upland stockpile area may not be used for other beach nourishment projects unless the activities are federally permitted under a separate authorization.

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: “This is an ongoing and required maintenance dredging project that has been previously authorized. No new activity is proposed. To minimize impacts to adjacent waters, turbidity curtains will be deployed at all times during dredge activities.”

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: “A qualitative survey of the channel bottoms has been performed and no seagrasses were noted within the channel’s proposed maintenance dredge footprint. No mangroves are present within the project area” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not completed the evaluation of the impacts or determined the requirement for compensatory mitigation.

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 that the proposed project would have no effect on the Wood stork (Mycteria Americana). Based on the project description and location, no impacts to this species or its habitat will occur as a result of the proposed action.

The Corps has determined that the proposed project would have no effect on the Red knot (Calidris canutus rufa). Based on the specie’s mobility the proposed project would have a negligible effect on the Red knot. The Corps reviewed a 2015 GIS layer of red knot sightings provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and it showed that Red knots were not known to occur at the project site. Still, Red knots may occasionally utilize the project site for feeding or resting. Since the Red knot uses the same habitat type as the Piping plover, the applicant will be required to follow and implement the Reasonable and Prudent Measures and mandatory Terms and Conditions outlined in the Piping Plover Programmatic Biological Opinion (P3BO) that apply to the project. Adherence to the P3BO conditions is anticipated to minimize and avoid impacts to this species.

The Corps determined that the shoreline restoration component of the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the piping plover (Charadrius melodus). The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Piping Plover Programmatic Biological Opinion (P3BO), dated May 22, 2013.

The Corps has determined that the shoreline restoration component of the proposed project may affect, and is likely to adversely affect nesting sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, Eretmochelys imbricate, Dermochelys coriacea, and Lepidochelys kempii). The Corps evaluated the proposed work utilizing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion (SPBO) for Shore Protection Activities along the Coast of Florida dated February 27, 2015. The applicant has reviewed all applicable Reasonable and Prudent Measures and Terms and Conditions in the (SPBO) for nesting sea turtles and has agreed to follow the measures included to minimize impacts to these species.

The Corps has determined that the shoreline restoration component of the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect swimming sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea, Eretmochelys imbricata, Caretta caretta, Lepidochelys kempii) and smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Gulf of Mexico Regional Biological Opinion, dated November 19, 2003, amended January 09, 2007.

The Corps has determined that the maintenance dredging component of the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhinchus desotoi), Swimming sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, Eretmochelys imbricate, and Lepidochelys kempii), and Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectintata). The Corps evaluated the proposed work utilizing NMFS’s Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO) dated 20 November 2017. The JAXBO analyzes the effects from 10 categories of minor in-water activities occurring in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean on sea turtles (loggerhead, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, hawksbill, and green); smalltooth sawfish; Nassau grouper; scalloped hammerhead shark, Johnson's seagrass; sturgeon (Gulf, shortnose, and Atlantic); corals (elkhorn, staghorn, boulder star, mountainous star, lobed star, rough cactus, and pillar); whales (North Atlantic right whale, sei, blue, fin, and sperm); and designated critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass; smalltooth sawfish; sturgeon (Gulf and Atlantic); sea turtles (green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead); North Atlantic right whale; and elkhorn and staghorn corals in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Based on past permitting practices of the Corps and review of consultations with similar in-water construction activities, Project Design Criteria (PDCs) were identified in the JAXBO that typically have been applied to permitted in-water construction activities. These PDCs ensure effects of in-water construction activities are minimal in nature and do not result in adverse effects to listed species or to essential features of designated CH. For this verification, the Corps conducted a project specific review to ensure that all of the PDCs were met. In accordance with the project-specific review process established in the JAXBO, a PDC checklist, certification that the activity meets the applicable PDCs, and supporting documentation for the proposed activity were emailed to nmfs.ser.statewideprogrammatic@noaa.gov and jaxbo@usace.army.mil on July 15, 2021. Therefore, the Jacksonville District satisfied the project-specific review requirements stipulated in the JAXBO and satisfied its obligation under the ESA for the above-listed species and critical habitats within the NMFS purview.

The Corps has determined that the shoreline restoration component of the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. The Corps evaluated the proposed work utilizing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion for Shore Protection Activities along the Coast of Florida dated February 27, 2015. The applicant has agreed to follow the standard manatee conditions for in-water work.

The Corps has determined that the dredging component of the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the 2013 Manatee Key yielded the following progression: A>B>C>G>N>O>P5 MANLAA. Project is not located in an important manatee area and does not provide new access for watercraft. Project would not impact submerged aquatic vegetation and the applicant agrees to follow the standard manatee conditions for in-water work.

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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. 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 Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 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, Leanne Obra, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at Leanne.e.Obra@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (813)769-7061; or, by telephone at (813)769-7071.

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.