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: Ronald E. Bailey
217 Flagler Ave
Key West FL 33040
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The project is a vacant parcel at Antigua Lane, immediately adjacent to a man-made canal, tributary to the Atlantic Ocean; legally described as, Block 3, Lot 4 of Breezeswept Beach Estates, Ramrod Key; P4-143; in Section 32, Township 66 South, Range 29 East, Ramrod Key, Monroe County, Florida 33042. (MM ± 27.2-Ocean) (RE# 00201800-000000).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Miami, take U.S. 1 south to approximately mile marker (MM) 27.2; Turn left onto West Indies Drive and right onto Antigua Lane. The project site is a vacant parcel north of 27423 Antigua Lane.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.661307° North
Longitude: 81.404564° West
Basic: The basic project purpose is to construct a single-family residence (SFR) and associated appurtenances.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to place fill material for the construction of a SFR and associated appurtenances, in Ramrod Key, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The property is located within a developed subdivision of Ramrod Key, Monroe County Florida. The project site is a vacant salt marsh wetland parcel, immediately adjacent to a 35’ wide man-made canal tributary to the Atlantic Ocean. The property is bordered on the west by a developed SFR and on the east by a vacant wetland lot with similar conditions to the project site. To the north the parcel is dominated by saltmarsh vegetation dominated by green buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) shrubs and an underbrush that consists of Glasswort (Salicornia sp.), Saltwort (Batis maritima), Salt grass (Distichlis spicata), Keysgrass (Monanthochloe littoralis) and Sea Daisy (Borrichia arborescens) which transitions into a red mangrove fringe into a straight rock cut canal. To the south the project site is bordered by a road, Antigua Lane. The parcel sits at lower elevation than the road and adjacent developed property. Vegetation on the parcel is on good condition and no invasive exotic species were identified. Development in the area has resulted in alteration of the natural site and the vegetation on the center and south end of the property is scarified. No corals or seagrass were identified, no in-water work is proposed.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place 394.2 cubic yards of clean fill material within 6,090-square feet (ft²) of saltmarsh jurisdictional wetland for the construction of a single-family residence and associated appurtenances, including two (2) onsite swales and riprap retaining wall surrounding the perimeter of the property and shoreline, as depicted on the enclosed work set of plans (8-pages). A temporary silt fence will be installed around the entire perimeter of the property, prior to the start of the work; these will remain in place until the work is completed. Work is in Water of the United States, in accordance with the enclosed drawings. The project is further described in the enclosed project exhibits.
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:
A temporary silt fence will be install around the entire perimeter of the property for the duration of all construction activities, in/over waters of the United State, as to avoid the displacement of fill material into adjacent U.S. waters, including wetlands.
Additionally, the applicant proposes to avoid the remaining 745-ft² of shoreline red mangrove wetland fringe.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment. If mitigation is required by the Army Corps of Engineers, the appropriate mitigation will be determined with the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) and the appropriate payment made to 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project will have no effect on the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A > no effect. This determination was based on the work being conducted outside of waters accessible to the West Indian manatee. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the manatee dated April 2013.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).
The project is located within American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) consultation area. According to the 28 October 2014 American Crocodile Key, the property does not support suitable nesting habitat for the crocodile. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence #2 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. Therefore, the Corps has reached a “may affect not likely to adversely affect” determination on the American crocodile and its suitable nesting habitat.
The real estate parcel number is 00201800-000000 and is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County for the following species: The Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi); Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) and Silver rice rat (Oryzomys palustris natator). The Corps initial determination is that the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the aforementioned species and designated habitat.
Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): Since critical habitat has not been designated for the indigo snake, potential impacts to D. c. couperi were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key dated 1 August 2017 (Snake Key). Use of the key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D (1), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA)” for the snake. This determination is partially based on the project being conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for The Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and project construction. Therefore, no incidental take will occur, and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
Potential impacts to the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) and its habitat were evaluated using the respective FWS Species Assessment Guides (SAGs) dated 29 July 2013. Use of the SAGs resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D (2), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)” the marsh rabbit. This determination is based on the applicant mitigating for proposed removal of the species’ native habitat, the property being within a developed canal subdivision and the area within 500 feet of the parcel is greater than 60 percent developed or scarified. Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, no further consultation with the Service is required.
The subject parcel is listed on the FWS 2011 Suitable Habitat List as being located within the focus area for the silver rice rat (Oryzomys palustris natator). Potential impacts to the aforementioned species and its critical habitat were evaluated using the respective FWS Species Assessment Guides (SAGs) dated 29 July 2013. Use of the
SAGs resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > E (2), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)” the rice rat. This determination is based on the property being within a developed canal subdivision and the area within 500 feet of the parcel is greater than 60 percent developed or scarified, as well as the proposal being for a new residence with enforceable cat restrictions and the cat brochure being provided. Although the subject parcel is not located within the designated critical habitat, use of the SAGs resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C >
D (1), “NLAA” the rice rat’s critical habitat. This determination is based on the applicant proposing removal of the species’ native habitat and the property not containing or being adjacent to contiguous tracts of the species’ native habitat greater than one acre in size, the permit being conditioned with habitat compensation, and the cat brochure being provided. Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, no further consultation with the Service is required.
The Corps has determined the proposed project will have no effect on the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), kemps ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and its designated critical habitat, Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat, and listed corals species (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox) since no in-water work is being proposed. No consultation is required at this time.
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 6,090 square feet of wetland resources indirectly utilized by various life stages of land and marine species and of submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not 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.
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.
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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida, 33176, within 21 days from the date of this notice (i.e. on or before August 31st, 2021).
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, Gletys Guardia-Montoya at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at Gletys.Guardia-Montoya@usace.army.mil, or by telephone at 305-526-2515.
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. 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 or 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 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: WQC is required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. No.: 0408444-001 EI.
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.