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: Hammock Harbour, LLC
Attention: Mr. Robert Million
17 South Waterview Drive
Palm Coast, Florida 32137
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Matanzas River. The project site is located at 5658 North Ocean Shore Boulevard, in Section 40, Township 10 South, Range 31 East, Palm Coast, Flagler County.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the Town of Marineland, travel south on A1A, travel 4.3 miles south and take a right into the property. If you have passed the Adult Education Center and Flagler County Fire Station, you have traveled too far.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 29.608909°
Basic: The basic project purpose is access to navigation and commercial development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is commercial development with vessel access to navigable waters in northeast Flagler County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The overall project site location is 4.26 acres. The waters consist of an estuarine system. The property vegetative and land uses have been classified according to the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS). Onsite communities have been classified as Streams and Waterways (FLUCFCS code 510 – 0.09-acre), Upland Cut Canal (510d – 0.20 acre) and Transportation/Shipyards (FLUCFCS code 810 – 3.97 acres). There is no submerged aquatic vegetation, marsh or mangroves at the site. The area adjacent to the non bulkheaded shoreline on the north side of the shore has existing rip rap; there are no wetlands at the site. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of a medium density residential community, many of which host single family dock structures. The Matanzas River is approximately 320-feet-wide at this location and is part of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal Channel.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization for the following:
1. To conduct new dredging in waters of the United States (open, tidal water) to remove 1,863-cubic-yards of sediment from a 0.33-acre area to a depth of -7-feet Mean Low Water to establish a deeper depth for a proposed harbor/marina. The upland excavated area would include a larger area north of the old boat basin and a small area to the south of the boat basin along the shoreline. The dredging would be conducted from land with a long reach excavator. The spoil material would be placed on site in a self-contained area of uplands north of the existing upland excavated boat basin that would be 80-feet-wide by 80-feet-long and contained by a double silt fence around the material. The material would then be utilized for fill for the existing upland excavated boat basin.
2. To excavate a 0.32-acre upland area to -7 feet Mean Low Water upland area bordering the Matanzas River/Intracoastal Waterway to create a boat basin/harbor. The spoil material would be placed on site in a self-contained area of uplands north of the existing upland excavated boat basin that would be 80-feet-wide by 80-feet-long and contained by a double silt fence around the material.
3. To place 1,694-cubic-yards of fill over 0.15-acres of waters of the United States (open, tidal water) to fill an existing upland excavated boat basin to create space for construction of a 240-slip dry dock storage area for private boat storage and to return the shoreline to the natural contour. There are no existing dry or wet slips.
4. To remove approximately 65-cubic-yards of rip rap along 195-linear-feet (550-square-feet) from the property. The rip rap would be used as fill in the upland-excavated boat basin to help create space for construction.
5. To install a 559-feet-long by 1-foot-wide vertical bulkhead/breakwater. The breakwater would run from the western shoreline on the north side of the property south to the proposed upland excavation, east along the exterior border of the proposed upland excavation, south and west to the waterline, and south on the western shoreline to the southern border of the property. The bulkhead would also extend from the northwest corner of the shore and the upland excavation south for 123-feet to the middle of the upland excavated boat basin to act as a breakwater. The applicant would place 26-cubic-yards of backfill over a 350-square-foot area behind the proposed bulkhead, for the area of the bulkhead starting from the northwest corner of the site south for 44-feet to the point that the uplands would be excavated.
6. To construct 3,019-square-feet of floating docks to install a marina on the Matanzas River/Intracoastal Waterway. The floating docks would border the upland excavated harbor for approximately 287-feet and would be 6-feet wide in most areas and 3-feet-wide in two small areas on the northeast side. The floating docks would extend out onto the water by 64-feet for a total of 173-linear-feet by 6-feet-wide. The floating dock would be 457-feet-long by 3 or 6-feet wide for a total of 3,019-square-feet. The dock would host 20 in water slips to service the recreational vessels stored in the upland dry storage facility. There would be no repetitive use of the boat slips such as daily boat trips, tour boats, restaurants, hotels, water taxis, rental boats, or tour/cruise boats. The installation would include one hundred twenty four 12-inch wood piles for the floating docks installed by jetting method. The floating docks would include three finger piers: one on the north side of the shore that would be 57-feet-long by 4-feet-wide and two on the south side of the proposed upland excavation that would be 44-feet-long by 3-feet-wide.
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 majority of the proposed harbor is proposed to be excavated in uplands, reducing the amount of dredge work required within the waterway.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
“No wetland fill is proposed, and the bulkhead would mostly replace existing seawall/rip rap, with the exception of encompassing the limits of the proposed harbor.”
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.
a. The Corps has determined the proposal may affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus). The proposed work would create 20 temporary wet slips and 240 permanent dry slips. Use of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Manatee Key Florida, April 2013 resulted in the sequence A > B > C > G > H > I > J > L > M > may affect. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the USFWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
b. The Corps has determined the proposal may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). The proposed work would include work in uplands related to the project. Therefore, the Corps utilized the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, which resulted in the sequence A > B > C > not likely to adversely affect. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the USFWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
c. The Corps has determined the proposal may affect, but would be not likely to adversely affect the Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). However, the proposed work does not fall under the Jacksonville Programmatic Biological Opinion due to the marina having over 50 slips, the proposed bulkhead being longer than 500 feet, and due to the proposed new dredging. The Corps will request initiation of informal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
d. The Corps has determined the proposal may affect, but would be not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). The Corps evaluated potential effects to Wood Stork using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008. Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination A > B > C > D not likely to adversely affect, as the project would affect less than 0.5 acres of suitable foraging habitat. The USFWS previously indicated that they concur with determinations of not likely to adversely affect based on that key; and, that no additional consultation is required.
e. The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). Information from USFWS indicates that the Florida Scrub Jay has extremely specific habitat requirements. It is endemic to peninsular Florida inhabiting fire dominated, low-growing, oak scrub habitat found on well-drained sandy soils. The species may persist in areas with sparser oaks or scrub areas that are overgrown, but at much lower densities and with reduced survivorship. According to USFWS, bare sand patches are essential for foraging and acorn-caching. Scrub habitat is a community composed of evergreen shrubs, with or without a canopy of pines, and is found on dry, infertile, sandy ridges. The signature scrub species, three species of shrubby oaks, Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), and sand pine (Pinus clausa), are common to scrubs throughout the state. The dominance of these species, however, is variable from site to site. The most common form is oak scrub, dominated by three species of shrubby oaks – myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia), sand live oak (Quercus geminata), and Chapman’s oak (Quercus chapmanii) -- plus rusty staggerbush (Lyonia ferruginea) and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). Florida scrub jay is not located at the project site and the site does not contain suitable habitat for the species. Therefore, the Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on the avian species.
f. On 14 February 2022, the Corps executed a Resources at Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any federally listed threatened or endangered species, other than those mentioned above. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any federally listed, threatened, or endangered species, other than those mentioned above.
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 0.64 acres of open, tidal water utilized by various life stages of shrimp, snapper/grouper, and spiny lobster. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. 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 approximately 64-feet away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel. On July 13, 2022, the Corps Navigation Section provided documentation that the proposed structure meets the setback guidelines and maintains a setback which is consistent with other authorized structures along this reach of the IWW channel.
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 Jacksonville Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207, 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, Terri M. Mashour, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207; by electronic mail at Terri.M.Mashour@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (904) 570-4512.
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: Water Quality Certification may be required from the certifying authority.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved 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.