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:
Mr. Peter Clark
SHM Regatta Point, LLC
14785 Preston Rd, Suite 975
Dallas, TX, 75254
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Manatee River. The project is located at Regatta Point Marina, 1005 Riverside Drive, Palmetto, in Section 33, Township 34 South, Range 17 East, Manatee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-75, take Exit 228 toward St Petersburg. Take the US-41 exit, Exit 2, toward Palmetto/ Bradenton. Turn left onto US Highway 41/Tamiami Trail / US-41 S / FL-45, and use the US-41 Bus S ramp toward Palmetto. Stay straight to go onto Business 41 / US-41 Bypass S. Follow US-41 Bypass S, which later becomes 8th Avenue / US-41 Bus S, turn right onto Riverside Dr., 1005 Riverside Drive is on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Marina Reconfiguration
Overall: The overall purpose of the project is to repair-replace an existing fixed dock (G & H dock and the West access dock), replace five (5) existing fixed docks with a floating dock (west side) and replace partially tree (3) of the existing fixed dock with floating docks (east side). The project would reduce the total number of existing wet slips from 352 to 324 slips.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is an existing 352 wet slip marina currently supporting 88,458 square feet of docks. The project area shoreline consists predominately of a vertical seawall, with some more natural shoreline on the east end beyond the area of the marina pool deck. Immediately waterward of the seawall and along the majority of the shoreline is a thick riparian mangrove fringe which is maintained in a trimmed condition with a height of approximately six feet above the substrate. Sparse seagrass (Halodule wrightii) patches were found to occur approximately 3-4 feet waterward of the mangrove fringe and extended waterward approximately 30 feet within shallow water. Seagrass was noted to be sparser on the east side of the main (central) access dock. Seagrass was not found in any of the dock or wave break footprints, and it does not occur within any of the dock reconfiguration footprints (see attached Marina Reconfiguration Site Plan with seagrass bed locations included).
Oysters, barnacles, boring sponges, and multiple species of algae were noted on dock pilings and concrete break waters. Some scattered shell material was also noted on the submerged bottom. The majority of the submerged bottom within the navigable portions of the marina consisted primarily of loose sand and silt with typically heavy coverage by mats of green filamentous algae (Chaetomorpha sp.). The prevalence of this alga in such dense mats often prevents the growth of any other submerged aquatic vegetation on the bottom.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to install by jetting a total of 1991 piles to replace 9,105 square feet (SF) of fixed docks, construct 23,015 SF of floating docks for a total of 32,120 SF of work and install 213 boat lift. The marina reconfiguration will decrease the number of existing wet slips from 352 slips to 325 slips. All construction will take place during daylight hours only. In-water work activities would take a total of 270 days. Work will take place from land and from a shallow-draft barge. In shallow depths, the barge will only operate at high tide.
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 impacts are proposed for this project. Potential impacts are being avoided with the dock and associated piles. The use of turbidity curtains, installation of no more than 10 piles per day, jetting piles into place, and avoiding impacts to seagrass.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: No impacts are proposed for this project. No fill will be placed below the MHWL. Mitigation does not apply to this project.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: 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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect, not likely to adversely affect” the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Wood stork (Mycteria americana), Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) (STSF).
West Indian (Florida) manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris): The Corps has made the determination of “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” (MANLAA) for the West Indian manatee and its designated critical habitat. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 (Manatee Key). Use of the Manatee Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B>C>G>N>O>P(12) MANLAA, with no further consultation necessary. This determination is based on the applicant following the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011 for the proposed activity.
Smalltooth sawfish and Swimming Sea Turtles: The Corps utilized the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO), dated November 2017, to analyze 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 corals (elkhorn and staghorn) in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Corps has determined that the proposed project falls within the scope of the JAXBO.
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.
NAVIGATION: Based on the Florida State Plane coordinates provided by the applicant, the waterward edge of the proposed structure is 0.7 Nautical Miles away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway 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/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 District Engineer through the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302 within 21 days from the date of this notice. Comments can also be submitted by electronic mail to Edgar.W.Garcia@usace.army.mil with the project number, SAJ-2003-08353, in the subject line.
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, Edgar W. Garcia by electronic mail at Edgar.W.Garcia@usace.army.mil, or in writing at the Tampa Permits Office at 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610, or by telephone at 813-769-7062.
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.