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: Santa Rosa County
c/o Michael Schmidt, Environmental Director
6051 Old Bagdad Highway, Suite 301
Milton, Florida 32583
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with a Santa Rosa Sound. The project is located at 8513 Navarre Parkway, in Section 21, Township 2 South, Range 26 West, in Navarre, Santa Rosa County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From west Navarre, head east on Highway 98/Navarre Parkway and continue past the Highway 87 intersection. The site is located on the south side of the road, just before the State Road-399/Navarre Beach Causeway.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Longitude - 86.86559°
Basic: Living Shoreline
Overall: Construct semi-circular living shoreline planters at an existing public park in Navarre, Santa Rosa County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The subject site consists of an existing developed municipal park on the north shore of Santa Rosa Sound. The western half of the site consists of a parking lot and a pavilion and other park amenities. The shoreline has been stabilized with a seawall and riprap. (Authorization of the repair and replacement of these structures was issued under a State Programmatic General Permit on February 23, 2022.) The eastern half of the site is currently under construction associated with previously permitted park improvements (Department of the Army Permit, issued April 28, 2020). The site is surrounded by Highway 98/Navarre Parkway to the north, Navarre Beach Causeway/State Road-399 to the east, Santa Rosa Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway to the south, and commercial developments to the west. There is submerged aquatic vegetation in the vicinity of the project.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct seven semi-circular living shoreline planters abutting the (previously permitted) replacement riprap and seawall along the western half of the site. The work includes the placement of a total of 971 square feet of riprap and the planting of a total of 877 square feet of native emergent vegetation consisting of 584 Spartina alterniflora Loisel on 18-inch centers. All work is located landward of the existing submerged aquatic vegetation and would extend no more than 8.8-feet waterward of the mean high water line.
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 would minimize impacts to the aquatic environment by utilizing Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as turbidity curtains, during construction. The submerged aquatic vegetation within the vicinity of the project would not be impacted by the proposed work.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: “No mitigation measures are proposed. The proposed project is not intended to cause any adverse environmental effects. The proposed project is intended to enhance the surrounding environment and crate additional habitat for species in the area.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but would not likely adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) as determined using the 2013 Manatee Key, following couplets A > B > C > G > H > I > J> L > N > O > P. The Corps has also determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), Kemp’s Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). The Corps will request the National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these determinations 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 proposed project would impact approximately 0.2 acre of estuarine intertidal and subtidal habitat, utilized by various life stages of three species of shark (Blacktip, Bull, Spinner), four shrimp species (brown, white, pink, Royal red), coastal migratory pelagic species, red drum, and 43 species of reef fish. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries. 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.
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 Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, Florida, 32502 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, Holly Millsap, in writing at the Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, FL 32502, by electronic mail at Holly.M.Millsap@usace.army.mil, by fax at (850) 433-8160, or by telephone at (850) 470-9823.
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.