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: Franklin County Board of County Commissioners
Attention: Michael Moron
33 Market Street
Apalachicola, FL 32320
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with improvements to the Old Ferry Boat Ramp and basin. The project site is located at the Old Ferry Dock Boat Ramp in Franklin County, Florida. The facility is located at the western end of Old Ferry Dock Road off of US Highway 98 in Section 36, Township 8S, Range 7W.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of CR 65 and US 98, drive west on US 98 for approximately 4.35 miles. Turn right on North Bay Shore Drive and continue north for approximately 0.17 miles. Turn left onto Old Ferry Dock Road. The project is located where Old Ferry Dock Road terminates into East Bay.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 29.738219°
Basic: Public water access
Overall: To improve and expand an existing public boat ramp and associated infrastructure to allow access to East Bay in Franklin County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project is located within and adjacent to an existing basin that provides public access to East Bay. The public access area is demarcated by an existing concrete sea wall that extends from the shoreline into East Bay to the north and south of the ramp. There is an existing 20 ft by 19 ft boat ramp inside the basin. There is no SAV within the basin and the substrate consists of unvegetated sandy bottom. The onsite estuarine wetland vegetation consists of Spartina alterniflora, juncus roemerianus and Baccharis sp. and is located landward of an offshore breakwater. The development surrounding the project area is predominantly single family residential.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to remove 204 linear feet of existing concrete seawall that forms a breakwater around the existing basin, to remove a 12 foot by 19 foot concrete boat ramp, to remove 20 cubic yards of rip-rap and to excavate 242 cubic yards of sediment from 4,331 square feet of area within the basin. The applicant proposes to install 219 linear feet of steel sheet pile wall capped with concrete to create a breakwater around the improved boat ramps, to construct of two (2) 20' x 43' concrete boat ramps, and a 4' x 51' finger pier between the two ramps. Construction of the ramps will result in the placement of fill material in 284 square feet of emergent marsh and 171 square feet of shallow water habitat. As proposed the project would impact 284 square feet of emergent marsh and 0.14 acre of shallow water habitat.
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:
Impacts were reduced to the greatest possible extent during the design process, while also providing adequate width for boat loading/ launching and appropriate docking. The work is primarily occurring in an existing boat basin. Impacts to wetlands were reduced to the greatest possible extent while also safely meeting the public needs of the facility. Direct wetland impacts total 284 square feet and are located landward of a manmade living shoreline. Vegetation proposed for impact will be removed and relocated to another shoreline prior to project commencement.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION –The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
No compensatory mitigation is proposed as the proposed project is occurring within the footprint of an existing public water access area. Additionally, all wetland vegetation will be transplanted prior to project commencement.
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. A 2010 archaeological survey (DHR Survey #17049) across the uplands of this park indicated the entire destruction of a prior archaeological site (8FR0060) previously recorded to the north of the project area. The proposed activities are taking place either within wetlands, or lands that have been so heavily impacted by past construction activities that there is very little likelihood for the existence of archaeological deposits. Therefore, the project has no potential to effect historic properties.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Gulf sturgeon and its designated critical habitat, West Indian manatee, loggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, Kemps ridley sea turtle and smalltooth sawfish. The Corps will review potential impacts using the appropriate programmatic keys and the Jacksonville Regional Biological Opinion (JAXBO). If directed during this review, the Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination 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 284 square feet of tidal marsh and 0.14 acre of shallow estuarine waters utilized by various life stages of coastal pelagic and anadromous species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in East Bay. 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 4.8 miles away from the near bottom edge of the closest 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 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 Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Blvd, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 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, Tracey L. Wheeler, in writing at the Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Blvd, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida, 32407; by electronic mail at email@example.com; or, by telephone at (850)763-0717 ex 4.
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.
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.