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:
Gulf Cove, Inc.
c/o Mitchell Werner
19281 San Carlos Boulevard
Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States, associated with Matanzas Pass. The project site is located at 19281 San Carlos Boulevard, in Section 24, Township 46 South, Range 23 East, Fort Myers Beach, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows (from the Fort Myers Field Office): Turn left onto Royal Palm Square Boulevard (0.5 miles). Turn left onto FL-867 S/McGregor Boulevard (6.4 miles). Continue onto FL-867 S/San Carlos Boulevard (4.0 miles). Turn left onto Main Street. Destination will be on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Multi-family docking facility
Overall: Rebuild a dilapidated section of an existing multi-family dock in the same footprint as the existing dock but elevated 16 inches.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The existing 41-slip multi-family docking facility serves an upland residential trailer park. The docking facility is located on the Matanzas Pass estuarine waterbody. There is no submerged aquatic vegetation, mangroves, or other vegetation on the project site. A seawall exists along the shoreline. The main dock structure was constructed before 1968. Several finger piers and boat lifts were added to the dock structure or attached to the seawall over the years. Most of the additions received Federal authorization, but some did not. The docking facility is used to moor recreational vessels owned by the residents of the trailer park. The existing land area surrounding the project site is developed and contains commercial marina facilities. The in-water area surrounding the project site contains marina facilities, boat launches, and boat ramps.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to remove and reconstruct an approximately 1,350 square foot area of the existing 41-slip dock in the same footprint, but elevated 16 inches, including the placement of 67 PVC-wrapped wood pilings by jetting. Turbidity curtains will be used throughout construction to prevent sedimentation of the adjacent waterbody. The applicant also seeks after-the-fact authorization for two existing boat lifts, an existing roofed tiki hut, and four existing finger piers.
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: Turbidity curtains will be used throughout construction to prevent sedimentation of the adjacent waterbody. The applicant will follow the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work (2011) and the Jacksonville District Biological Opinion’s Project Design Criteria. Work will be completed during daylight hours and will be completed either from uplands or from a barge.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: No compensatory mitigation is proposed because there are no proposed impacts to special aquatic sites.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: 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. Because the project would remain in the same footprint and only involve replacement of pilings, stringers, and elevating the decking, and because it is occurring in and over submerged lands which in this immediate area constitute a low probability for unrecorded sites, the Corps has determined that the project would have no potential to cause effects to historic properties.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, the West Indian manatee, green sea turtle, Kemps Ridley sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, smalltooth sawfish, or their designated critical habitat. If necessary, the Corps will request Fish and Wildlife/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 proposal would impact approximately 67 square feet of unconsolidated sandy bottom utilized by various life stages of marine organisms. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. 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: The proposed project is not within close proximity to a Federal channel, nor will it cause a hazard to navigation to any local navigation 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.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919, 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 waterbody. 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, Heather M. Mason, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919; by electronic mail at Heather.M.Mason@usace.army.mil; or by telephone at (239) 850-2171.
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, aesthetics, 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: WQC is required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Water quality certification has been waived through issuance of FDEP exemption number 0181696-004-EE.
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.