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:
APPLICANT: Salty Secret Holdings, LLC
Attn: Mr. Chester Stokes
25655 Marsh Landing Parkway
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Steinhatchee River. The project site is located in Section 26, Township 9 South, Range 9 West, Taylor County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate-10, take exit 283 onto United States-129 toward Live Oak, FL. Travel 3.2 miles and turn right onto 11th Street Southwest. At the roundabout, take 3rd exit onto Irvin Avenue and travel for 21 miles. Continue on Fletcher Avenue. Travel for 31 miles and turn right onto First Avenue South. Travel 1.2 miles and take a slight right turn on First Avenue South. Travel 0.4 miles and the site is on the left at Roy’s Restaurant.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 29.672869°
Basic: Commercial docking facility.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to provide a multi-slip floating docking facility for a riverside restaurant in the Steinhatchee River, Steinhatchee, Taylor County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Steinhatchee River. No emergent or submerged vegetation occurs within the project area. The upland property is an active restaurant.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a 40 slip floating dock facility consisting of an 8’ x 93’ fixed dock, a gangway leading to an 8’ x 316’ floating dock, and two (2) finger floating access docks, one (1) 8’ x 118’ and one (1) 8’ x 205’. The two floating access docks would consist of (16) 4’ x 24’ floating finger docks and three (3) 4’ x 50’ floating finger docks. The fixed docks would be constructed out of treated wood and the floating docks would be aluminum. There would be 104 12” concrete pilings mechanically driven (auger). Total square feet (SF) of structure overwater is 8,202 SF.
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 project area would be surrounded with floating turbidity curtains during construction and the applicant agrees to abide by endangered species special conditions and construction guidelines for in-water work.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
No mitigation is required due to no loss of waters of the U.S. is associated with this activity.
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: West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys Coriacea), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and the Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) or its designated critical habitat.
a. West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus): Use of The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G H > I > J > L > N > O > P > “may affect not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA)”. This determination is based on the applicant following the standard manatee construction precautions for the proposed activity. By letter dated 25 April 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stated that for proposed in-water activities analyzed with the April 2013 version of this key in which the Corps reaches a “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” determination with respect to the manatee and/or its designated critical habitat, the FWS hereby concurs with the Corps determination in accordance with 50 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 402.14(b)1 and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
b. Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): The potential impacts to the endangered Eastern Indigo snake were evaluated using The Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, August 2013. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) scope of analysis for this project include uplands along the project area which may be used for staging of equipment and materials that support the work and structure in waters of the U.S. The Section 10 activity is within open waters and the upland area is impervious and developed lands. Use of the Eastern Indigo snake key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > “not likely to adversely affect” the Eastern Indigo snake. This is due to that there are no gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities. The applicant proposes to follow the FWS approved Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake during the staging and construction phases of the project.
c. The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect” the Smalltooth sawfish, Swimming sea turtles (Green, Hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, Leatherback, Loggerhead), and gulf sturgeon or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
d. The Corps has determined the proposed project would have “no effect” on nesting sea turtles due to the shoreline is a bulkhead and boardwalk.
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 in the Steinhatchee River. 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 109 feet away from the near bottom edge of a Federally maintained entrance 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 Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Boulevard (Blvd), Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 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, Randy Turner, in writing at Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Blvd, Suite 411, Panama City, Florida 32407; by electronic mail at Randy.L.Turner@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (850) 763-0717, extension 3.
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 Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) or Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).
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.