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: Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Museum
Attn: Mr. Daniel K. Bean
100 North Laura Street, Suite 501
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 end of Catherine Street, in Section 38, Township 2 South, Range 26 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate-95 take Exit 353B and turn onto Union Street. Proceed until the intersection of Main Street and turn right. Proceed until the intersection of East Forsyth Street and turn left. Proceed until the intersection of North Liberty Street and turn right. Proceed to East Bay Street and turn left. Proceed until the intersection of North Catherine Street and the project is directly across this roadway in the St. Johns River.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.322632°
Basic: The basic project purpose is maintenance dredging and vessel mooring.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to maintenance dredge an existing boat basin to facilitate the permanent mooring of a decommissioned Naval vessel.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of an unvegetated upland cut boat basin with a pile-supported pier. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of commercial development, pile-supported piers, marina and the St. Johns River.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks reauthorization to mechanically maintenance dredge 17,000 cubic yards of sediment over a 0.98-acre area to a depth of -16 feet below Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) within an existing boat basin. Dredged material would be transported by hopper barge to the Bartram Island disposal area at Jaxport. Additionally, the applicant seeks authorization to install three pile-supported dolphins adjacent to the existing pier to facilitate permanent mooring of a decommissioned naval vessel.
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 proposed maintenance dredging is the minimum necessary to facilitate the permanent mooring of the USS Orleck. The dredged material would be disposed of in approved upland disposal area and appropriate turbidity controls would be utilized.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The proposed project would not result in the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S.; therefore, no compensatory mitigation should be required.
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus oxyrhynchus), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum), and giant oceanic manta ray (Mobula birostris). The utilized programmatic keys aide in the effect determinations, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service /National Marine Fisheries Service previously indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the programmatic keys; and, that no additional consultation is necessary.
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 0.98 acre of habitat utilized by various life stages of shrimp, snapper, and grouper. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the St. Johns River. 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 at least 200 feet away from the near bottom edge of the Deep Draft Federal channel.
SECTION 408: The applicant may require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, may 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 within 15 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, Mr. Brad Carey by electronic mail at Brad.J.Carey@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (904) 232-2405.
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.