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: Daytona Bluetide Group LP
Mr. Fabrizio Lucchese
315 E. Robinson St, Suite 600
Orlando, FL 32801
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would impact waters of the United States within the Halifax River (HUC 030802010103). The project is located along 103 East International Speedway Boulevard, in Section 08, Township 15 South, Range 33 East, Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 proceed to East International Speedway Boulevard. Turn north to South Halifax Avenue. Turn west to Hewen Place.
Overall: To construct a 138-slip public marina with ocean access to serve the residents of Daytona Beach and greater Volusia County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Bluetide Marina Project (aka Gateway Daytona Marina) which was originally permitted under number SAJ-2006-05851 (SP-TSB) 10 May 2011, and then modified under SAJ-2006-05851(MOD1-JCP) 31 July 2012, MOD2 on 11 May 2017, MOD3 on 15 May 2018 and MOD4 on 8 May 2020. MOD5 was the last modification issued on 9 November 2020. The expiration of MOD5 is 10 May 2022, the same as the previous MOD4 expiration date, as such and coupled with ongoing State permitting process, the applicant requests a reauthorization, or new permit, to construct the marina as currently authorized by MOD5 and with a new 5-year term. No changes from the previous MOD5 permit drawings are proposed.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks reauthorization to dredge 54,300 CY of material (88,900 CY with 2’ depth tolerance) within the Halifax River and construct a 138-slip public marina. Specific project details can be found on Sheets P-4 of the Proposed Marina Plan Details and D-1 of the Proposed Dredge Plan.
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 original authorization of the Bluetide Marina Project (aka Gateway Daytona Marina) allowed for the construction of 156 slips. This application requests reauthorization for a total of 138 slips as authorized under MOD5 achieved through minor reconfigurations of the slips and finger piers within the marina footprint. In addition, the applicant has elected to comply with all Jacksonville District's Programmatic Biological Opinion (JaxBO) Project Design Criteria (PDCs) for In-Water Activities, Standard Manatee Condition for In-Water Work, and the Sea Turtle and Small Tooth Sawfish Construction Conditions.
All construction materials will be stored above the mean high-water line on the upland or on work barges within the construction area. No materials will be stored in the water during construction.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“The project has been designed to avoid impacts to aquatic resources. No impacts are proposed which would result in mitigation requirements.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of historic property/properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps has evaluated the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and has followed the guidelines of 33 CFR Part 325, Appendix C. While historic properties were identified in the review area, these areas have been extensively modified by previously authorized work. In consideration of the previous and current authorization, the Corps has determined that the project would have No Potential to Cause Effects to Historic Property.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) evaluation for the area of the proposed project. The RAR indicated that the proposed project “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Because the following species are unlikely to be found in the vicinity of the Action Area, the Corps had determined that the proposed action will have “no effect” on the Atlantic salt marsh snake (Nerodia clarkii taeniata) and Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens).
WEST INDIAN MANATEE: The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” the West Indian Manatee, pursuant to review of the “State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida” (April 2013). Review of the Manatee key resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B>C>G>H>I>J>K>N>O>P “may affect, not likely to adversely affect”. The proposed project is currently authorized by USFWS under Log Number 41910-2008-I-0546. The applicant agrees to comply with the terms and conditions of this authorization. In addition, the applicant agrees to follow the ‘Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work (2011)’. No further consultation is required as the project is compliant with the Volusia County Manatee Protection Plan.
ATLANTIC SALT MARSH SNAKE: The Corps has determined the proposed project have “no effect” on the Atlantic salt marsh snake (Nerodia Clarkii taeniata). The Atlantic salt marsh snake inhabits coastal salt marshes and mangrove swamps. Specifically, it occurs along shallow tidal creeks and pools, in a saline environment ranging from brackish to full strength. It is often associated with fiddler crab burrows. These conditions do not present themselves onsite. In consideration of the previous/current authorization, the location of the project site, the work proposed, and the information noted above, the Corps determined the project would have “no effect” on this species.
FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY: The Corps has determined the proposed project will have “no effect” the on Florida Scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). The Florida scrub-jay inhabits sand pine and xeric oak scrub, and scrubby flatwoods, which occur in some of the highest and driest areas of Florida – ancient sandy ridges that run down the middle of the state, old sand dunes along the coasts, and sandy deposits along rivers in the interior of the state. These conditions do not present themselves onsite. In consideration of the previous/current authorization, the location of the project site, the work proposed, and the information noted above, the Corps determined the project would have “no effect” on this species.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.
ENDANGERED SPECIES NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE (NMFS): The Corps evaluated the proposed work utilizing NMFS’s Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO) dated 20 November 2017. The JAXBO analyzes 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 elkhorn and staghorn corals in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
Based on past permitting practices of the Corps and review of consultations with similar in-water construction activities, Project Design Criteria (PDCs) were identified in the JAXBO that typically have been applied to permitted in-water construction activities. These PDCs ensure effects of in-water construction activities are minimal in nature and do not result in adverse effects to listed species or to essential features of designated CH. For this application, the Corps conducted a project specific review to determine if all of the PDCs were met.
The Corps has determined that the project does not meet the requirements of JAXBO because it exceeds the limits of the following PDCs: A2.1.3 (number of slips for a marina). The proposed project is currently authorized by NMFS under Reference Number I/SER/2009/06318. The applicant agrees to comply with the terms and conditions of this authorization. In consideration of the current authorization, based on the project being outside of designated critical habitat for any listed species, and the applicant’s agreement to follow PDCs for JaxBO for In-Water Activities, specifically Activity 1 and Activity 2, the Standard Manatee Condition for In-Water Work, and the Sea Turtle and Small Tooth Sawfish Construction Conditions, the Corps has determined that the project “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect” swimming sea turtles, smalltooth sawfish, and North Atlantic right whale. 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 project site does not contain EFH; therefore, our initial determination is that the proposed action would have no effect on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Halifax River. The proposed project is currently authorized by NMFS under Reference Number F/SER4:GG/pw. The project was modified to avoid the mangrove/salt marsh areas during this consultation. The applicant agrees to comply with the terms and conditions of this authorization. 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.
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 Corps has verified the extent of Federal jurisdiction.
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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Cocoa, Florida 32926 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, John Baehre, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Cocoa, Florida 32926, by electronic mail at John.M.Baehre@usace.army.mil or by telephone at (321)504-3771 extension 13.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat.
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 of the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.
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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.