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: East Toho, LLC.
C/O Gerry Spit
3705 Big Bass Rd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with East Lake Tohopekaliga (East Lake Tohopekaliga HUC10 0309010101) The project site is located at 3705 Big Bass Road in Section 10, Township 25 South, Range 30 East, Kissimmee, FL 34744.
Directions to the site are as follows: From downtown Orlando take the I-4 Express South (Toll Road) for about 3 miles. Take the exit on the left onto Florida's Turnpike and
continue for 8.7 miles, then take the exit toward FL-417 Toll N. Keep left at the fork and merge onto FL-417 Toll N, continue for 3 miles. Take exit 17B for Boggy Creek Rd and merge onto State Hwy 527A. Continue for 3 miles, then tum right onto Fish Camp Rd. In half a mile turn right on Big Bass Rd and the site will be on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 28.326418°
Basic: Commercial marina
Overall: Replacement of docks, seawall, and boat ramp at an existing marina in East Lake Tohopekaliga, in Osceola County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a freshwater system. The project area consists of 2.75 acres of surface waters and an access channel south into East Lake Tohopekaliga. There are several existing structures onsite in various states of serviceability, including: an approx. 1260 linear foot wooden bulkhead, a marina with approx. 30 slips, and a boat ramp.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to replace and extend the existing seawall to a total of 1325 linear feet, and to expand the number of dock slips within the marina to 37. 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 plans are to replace of [sic] the docks and seawall in the same footprint as the existing structure. The replacement seawall will be less than 18” from the existing seawall. As a result, the proposed work completely avoids any additional wetland impacts since the work is proposed to occur in an already impacted area.”
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 executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) evaluation for the area of the proposed project. The RAR indicated that the following species may occur in the project area: Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis), Florida Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus), Everglade Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), Audubon's Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway), and Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). The affect determination for the Everglades Snail Kite and Wood Stork is described below, and no affect was determined for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, Florida Scrub Jay, and Audubon’s Crested Caracara due to no suitable habitat being affected.
EVERGLADE SNAIL KITE: The Corps has completed an evaluation of the project based upon the draft Standard Local Operating Procedures for Endangered Species (SLOPES) for the Everglades Snail Kite (March 2020). Use of the Key for Everglade snail kite resulted in the following sequential determination: 1. Is the project area located within Everglade snail kite critical habitat, No > 2. Is the action area located within the Everglade snail kite consultation area, Yes > 3. Is the action area located within suitable Everglade snail kite habitat (freshwater marshes, wet prairies and/or shallow vegetated edges of lakes)? Yes = Consultation required.
WOOD STORK: The Corps completed an evaluation of the project based upon the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) South Florida Ecological Services Office’s South Florida Programmatic Concurrence for use with the Wood Stork (January 2010). Use of the Key for Wood Stork resulted in the following sequential determination: A (Project impacts Suitable Foraging Habitat at a location greater than 0.47 miles from a colony site.) > B (Project impact to Suitable Foraging Habitat is less than 0.5 acres. = Not likely to Adversely Affect. The Corps has FWS concurrence for the proposed activities through the use of the aforementioned determination key and no further action is required.
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. 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.
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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926 within 21 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, Jacob Zehnder, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926; by electronic mail email@example.com, or by telephone at 321-504-3771 ext. 0017.
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.
If the activity would involve the discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States or the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of disposing of it in ocean waters, delete this sentence and include this:
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.
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. 0275525-002.
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.