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: Commodores Point Properties, LTD
Attention: William Colledge
1010 East Adams Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the St. Johns River. The project site is located at the terminus of East Adams Street with the St. Johns River running adjacent to the south of the Mathews Bridge to just west of the Hart Bridge. There is no Section, Township, Range at this location.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the Jacksonville District Office on the south bank of downtown Jacksonville, travel north over the St. Johns River on the Main Street Bridge. Take a right onto East Bay Street and continue east onto Gator Bowl Boulevard. Take a right onto Talleyrand and take an immediate right onto East Adams Street to reach the security gate.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.323343°
Basic: The basic project purpose is shoreline stabilization and mooring.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the replacement and realignment of the existing bulkhead to accommodate commercial use and mooring of four 600-foot vessels and/or six smaller sized vessels at Commodores Point in Jacksonville, Duval County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is located at the Commodores Point commercial facility on the western shore of the St. Johns River located adjacent to the south of the Mathews Bridge, running south to just west of the Hart Bridge. The shoreline is lined with an existing bulkhead constructed in the 1960s and 1980s. There is no existing submerged aquatic vegetation, marsh, or mangroves located within the project area. The surrounding project area is commercial development along the St. Johns River. The site currently accommodates six slips.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks a five-year authorization to:
Remove 2,258-feet by 10-feet of existing wharf. This would include removal of the over-water concrete deck and platform and the supporting steel piles. The steel piles would be removed by vibratory methods.
North End of Property (Drawings labeled Type 2 Wall): Install 658.5-feet-long by 1.5-feet-wide and a 56.5-feet-long by 1.5-feet-wide wrap around bulkhead on the north end of the project area. The material would consist of steel corrugated sheet pile and would be placed directly adjacent to the existing bulkhead at the mean high water line, with installation via vibratory methods or impact hammer. The bulkhead would have a concrete cap that would be 658.5-feet-long by 5-feet-wide and 56.5-feet-long by 5-feet wide. The concrete cap would be centered on the sheet pile so 2.5-feet would lie waterward of the sheet pile and 2.5-feet would lie landward of the sheet pile.
Center of Property (Drawings Labeled Type 1 Wall): Install 1,599-feet-long by 1.8-feet-wide bulkhead in the center of the project area. The material could consist of steel corrugated sheet pile panels and would be placed directly adjacent to the existing bulkhead at the mean high water line, with installation by vibratory methods or impact hammer. The bulkhead would have a concrete cap that would be 1,599-feet-long by 5-feet-wide. The concrete cap would be centered on the sheet pile so 2.5-feet would lie waterward of the sheet pile and 2.5-feet would lie landward of the sheet pile.
South End of Property (Drawings Labeled Type 3 Wall): Install 349-feet-long bulkhead at the southern end of the project area. The material could consist of 116 steel piles that would be 3-feet in diameter and would be placed directly adjacent to the existing bulkhead at the mean high water line. The steel piles would be installed by vibratory methods or impact hammer. The bulkhead would have a concrete cap that would be 349-feet-long by 5-feet-wide. The concrete cap would be centered on the sheet pile so 2.5-feet would lie waterward of the sheet pile and 2.5-feet would lie landward of the sheet pile.
Install one 12-feet-long by 6-foot-wide wedge-shaped platform (Platform 1) that would be over the water including 4 steel piles that would be ~36-inches in diameter and one 10-foot-long by 5-foot-wide wedge platform (Platform 2) to align the face of the bulkhead, which would include 1 steel pile. These would be located at the south end of Type 3 wall (Platform 1) and at the transition from the existing 1967 era wall and the existing 1981 era wall (Platform 2). The piles would be installed by vibratory methods or impact hammer.
The improvements would allow for the mooring of up to four 600-foot US Navy LCS Destroyers for servicing and/or six smaller sized vessels for a total of six slips. There are six total slips already existing at the site. Construction would begin in 2022 once permits are received.
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:
“Best management practices will be utilized during all construction activities, such as manatee lookouts and silt protection devices as required.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
“The project will actually uncover 11,285-square-feet of river which is currently under the wharf. I do not believe that compensatory mitigation would be required.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined the permit area activity is not occurring in areas containing historic properties, and the activity being confined to the water’s edge is of such limited scope there is little likelihood of impact upon a historic property; therefore, the proposed project would have, “No Potential to Cause Effect.”
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. The project would not provide new slips for vessel mooring; however, it would stabilize the shoreline to ensure up to four 600-foot Navy LCS Class destroyers could be serviced and/or six smaller size vessels could moor. It would not impact submerged aquatic vegetation, emergent vegetation or mangrove, the project would have grates covering the 18-inch outfall structures, and the project proponent elects to follow the Standard Manatee Conditions for In Water Work. The Corps evaluated potential effects to the West Indian manatee using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination A > B > C > G > N > O > P4. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). The Corps evaluated potential effects to Wood Stork using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008. Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination A > B > C > not likely to adversely affect, as the project would affect less than 0.5 acres of suitable foraging habitat. The USFWS previously indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on that key; and, that no additional consultation is required.
The Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis) or its designated critical habitat. Habitat for Red Cockaded Woodpecker typically incorporates mature pine woodlands; and, optimal habitat is characterized as a broad savanna with a scattered overstory of large pines and a dense groundcover containing a diversity of grass and shrub species. Nesting and roosting occur in cavity trees that are almost exclusively old, living, flat-topped pine trees. The project site does not encompass typical or optimum habitat; or, trees capable of supporting cavities. Therefore, the Corps concludes that the project would have no effect on this species; and, consultation with the USFWS is not required.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect the Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). The proposed work would be to construct approximately 2,700-linear-feet of bulkhead that would consist of metal sheet pile and metal piles. The steel piles would bring the wall out 3-feet beyond the existing wall, which does not meet the 1.5-foot limitation in the Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion. Additionally, the applicant intends to utilize vibratory methods of installation for the sheet pile and piles; however, if they probe and hit a layer that requires impact hammer, they plan to utilize that installation method. In order to address all impacts to species, whether vibratory method or impact hammer is utilized, the Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
On 21 December 2021, the Corps executed a RAR report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any federally listed threatened or endangered species, other than those mentioned above. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any federally listed, threatened, or endangered species, other than those mentioned above.
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 0.102 acres of open, tidal water utilized by various life stages of shrimp (Farfantepenaeus spp., Penaeus sp., and/or Litopenaeus spp.), snapper (Lutjanus spp.) and grouper (Mycteroperca spp. and/or Epinephelus spp.). Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. 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 100 feet away from the near edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel.
SECTION 408: The applicant does 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 been verified by Corps personnel.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Jacksonville Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207 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, Terri M. Mashour, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207; by electronic mail at Terri.M.Mashour@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (904) 570-4512.
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.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: This public notice serves as the notification to the EPA pursuant to section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act. Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.
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