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: Ariel Elias
2365 SW 148th Court
Miami, Florida 33185
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Florida Bay. The project site is located at 132 Long Ben Drive in Section 32, Township 61 South, Range 39 East, Monroe County, Key Largo, Florida (MM98.5) RE#00495210-000000.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take U.S. 1 South to MM98.5; Turn right onto Gasparilla Drive; Turn right onto Pirates Drive; Merge onto Anne Bonny Drive; Turn right onto Long Ben Drive; Project located at 132 Long Ben Drive.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 25.085799°
Basic: To provide improved boating access and shoreline stabilization.
Overall: To provide improved boating access and shoreline stabilization in Key Largo, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a saltwater system. The property supports an undeveloped upland lot with a mature red mangrove shoreline adjacent to a canal tributary to the Florida Bay. The work is proposed along the portion of the site that is located along the canal side of the property that supports approximately a 10 to 12-foot-wide mature red mangrove shoreline. No seagrass or corals are located within the project footprint.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to construct a 6-foot wide by 163 linear foot concrete marginal dock with associated steel sheet pile seawall and backfill resulting in the placement of 60.4 cubic yards of fill within a 967 square foot area, to dredge 735 square feet (45 cubic yards) of mature red mangroves to -5 feet mean low water line to accommodate the seawall/dock and mooring area, to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in/over U.S. navigable waters. Dredge to be conducted with an excavator or similar from land or water with barge mounted equipment. Dewatering will be located onsite within a self-contained upland area. Spoil material will be disposed of in an upland disposal facility.
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: The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment: No avoidance of the wetland shoreline is proposed. Turbidity screens will be deployed to isolate the construction site from ambient waters.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If it is determined that the issuance of a DA permit is appropriate, mitigation will be required. The applicant has indicated that the mitigation proposal will be based on the Keys Restoration Fund (KRF). Time lag and risk will be a required component of any mitigation requirement.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is evaluating the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This public notice serves to inform the public of the proposed undertaking and invites comments including those from local, State, and Federal government Agencies with respect to historic resources. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts may be subject to additional coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and other interested parties.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: 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. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-G-H-I-N-O-P4 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. This determination partially was based on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the manatee dated April 2013.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), and the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) species. A no effect determination was reached on Acorpora sp. and its critical habitat and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request 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 1,789 square feet of mature wetland shoreline and submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine life. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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.
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.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida, 33176 or via email to Maria.I.Bezanilla@usace.army.mil (preferred) 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, Maria Bezanilla, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176, by electronic mail at Maria.I.Bezanilla@usace.army.mil, by telephone at (786) 795-1976.
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.