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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-1992-00459(SP-CF)

USACE SAJ RD-SP
Published July 20, 2021
Expiration date: 8/18/2021
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 Fort Lauderdale
Attn: Jonathan Luscomb
100 North Andrews Ave
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with an existing marina adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The project site is located at the existing Las Olas marina, adjacent to the ICW at 240 East Las Olas Circle and 300 Las Olas Circle in the City of Ft. Lauderdale (Section 12, Township 50 South, Range 42 East), in Broward County Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 toward Ft. Lauderdale, take the
Broward Boulevard exit east, turn right onto US1, turn left onto Las Olas Boulevard, cross over the Intracoastal Bridge, turn left onto South Birch Road, and the marina will be on the left.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Latitude: 26.1199°
Longitude: -80.1082°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is to improve water access to an existing marina.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to improve water access to the existing Las Olas marina in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area consists of an existing 52 slip marina that
contains two floating piers and four fixed piers (14,175 square feet) and a 1,625 linear
foot seawall with riprap at the toe. A resource survey was conducted in June 2020. The substrate within the marina consists of barren, unconsolidated silty sand. No seagrass was observed on the submerged lands. No scleractinian corals were observed on the existing bulkhead, pilings, or riprap boulders along the bulkhead.

Project History: The Corps issued a permit dated August 16, 1994, that authorized the
City to remove the existing docking structures and construct a 52-slip municipal marina.
The permit was modified on March 8, 2002, to expand the submerged land lease
westward into the ICW right-of-way to accommodate additional mooring of vessels on the four existing T-shaped piers, allowing the additional mooring of eight (8) vessels.

The Corps issued a Notice of Intent to issue a permit on February 5, 2019, for a marina expansion to 58 slips, excavation of an upland parking lot (previously filled tidal waters), installation of 990 linear feet of new seawall, dredging of 410,800 square feet to accommodate a larger marina footprint and turning basin for larger vessels, 52,565 square feet of overwater structures, 100 steel piles, and 47 timber piles. Issuance of a Corps permit was pending issuance of Water Quality Certification and Coastal Zone Management Consistency.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to renovate and expand an
existing marina from 60 to 66 slips for vessels up to 150 feet with drafts up to 15 feet, by
conducting the following activities:

1. Remove 750 linear feet of existing seawall, 108 mooring piles, and 14,175
square feet of existing fixed/floating docks;
2. Excavate 115,250 square feet of upland to create a marina basin with depths ranging from -10 to -12 feet MLLW;
3. Install 889 linear feet of new steel sheet pile seawall faced with 300 cy of limestone riprap and supported by 100 batter piles;
4. Dredge 352,986 square feet to depths of -10 to -17 feet MLLW within the marina basin, dredge 88,067 square feet to depths of -12 to -17 feet MLLW within the north channel turning basin, and dredge 19,800 square feet to depths of -10 feet MLLW within the south channel turning basin;
5. Install 64,544 square feet of new floating docks, fixed landings, and gangways;
6. Install 169 steel guide piles, and 70 timber mooring and fender piles

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:

No submerged aquatic vegetation will be impacted by the project. Best management practices for turbidity and erosion control will be utilized during all demolition and construction activities to prevent turbidity in excess of 29 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTUs) above background levels outside of the approved mixing zone. Demolition will be conducted by barge, in stages, with turbidity barriers surrounding areas with active demolition activities. The turbidity barriers will be installed prior to commencement of demolition activities in each demolition zone and will remain in place and be relocated, as necessary, until dock structures and pilings have been removed and turbidity levels have returned to background levels. Erosion control devices will be installed around upland debris staging areas and, on the barge, as well as around the spoil dewatering area. The barge will have a minimum of one-foot clearance from the substrate when fully loaded.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:

The applicant has stated that compensatory mitigation is not required because no impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation and/or other aquatic resources (i.e., corals) are proposed or anticipated.

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: Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water
construction, potential impacts to the threatened West Indian manatee (Trichechus
manatus) 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 this Key produced the sequential determination A-B (8)-may affect the West
Indian manatee. The project is not located within the manatee’s designated critical habitat.

The Corps previously consulted (FWS Log No. 2019-1-0138) with the U.S. Fish and wildlife Service (USFWS) on the previous project. The FWS concurred with the Corps effect determination of may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the manatee by issuance of a Letter of Concurrence dated December 21, 2018.

The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) or swimming sea turtles; endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), endangered hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and threatened loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). No critical habitat is located within the project area. The Corps will request concurrence with theses determinations from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Protected Resources Division (PFD) pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter. The Corps previously consulted with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Protected Resources Division (PRD), SER-2017-19017 for the previously proposed action and concluded it was not likely to adversely affect listed species under NMFS’S purview by letter dated February 12, 2018.

Since that consultations with FWS and NMFS PRD, the excavation area has been reduced by 14,750 SF, the excavation volume has been reduced by 33,693 cy, the dredge area has increased by 50,053 sf, the dredge volume has decreased by 5,850 cy, the overwater structures have increased by 11,979 sf, the number of steel piles has increased by 69, and the number of timber piles has increased by 23. The Corps will reinitiate consultation with the agencies with the revised project plans.

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. Approximately 460,853 square feet of
unvegetated mud, sand, shell and rock habitat will be impacted via dredging or the
installation of structures. The benthic habitat is utilized by various life stages of penaeid
shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and
snapper/grouper complex. The project as proposed will not have a substantial adverse
impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries based on the applicant’s implemented
avoidance and minimization measures. 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 Florida State Plane coordinates provided by the applicant, the waterward edge of the proposed structure is 67 feet away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel. The waterward limits of the proposed project have not changed since issuance of the Corps EA/SOF on February 5, 2019. The Construction Operations Division reviewed and evaluated the waterward limits of the proposed project and did not have any objections.

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 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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 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, Carolyn H. Farmer, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410; by electronic mail at Carolyn.H.Farmer@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (561) 626-6971; or, by telephone at (561) 472-3527.

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.

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.