Public Notice Notifications

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SAJ-1995-03788 (SP-BJC)

Jacksonville District
Published Nov. 7, 2022
Expiration date: 11/28/2022

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:  Dames Point Workboats, LLC

                       Attn:  Mr. William Shafnacker

                       5118 Heckscher Drive

                       Jacksonville, Florida 32226

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the St. Johns River.  The project site is located at 5118 Heckscher Drive, in Section 18, Township 1 South, Range 28 East, Jacksonville, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows:  From Interstate-95 take Exit 362A.  Proceed onto Interate-295 and take Exit 41.  Take a left (east) on Heckscher Drive.  Proceed for approximately 3,900 feet after the intersection of Blount Island Boulevard and the project is on the right.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:          Latitude       30.417213 °

                                                                                  Longitude -81.535753 °



Basic:  The basic project purpose is expansion of a commercial facility.

Overall:  The overall project purpose is the expansion of an existing workboat loading facility at 5118 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The[BMMCUC(1] [BMMCUC(2]  0.31-acre property encompasses generalized land use/cover types identified by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS).  The community is vegetated and non-forested (no tree cover), confined to a level, low laying area, which is seasonally and tidally flooded by the estuarine/marine St. Johns River back channel.  Approximately 75-80% of the Project site was dominated by needlerush (Juncus roemerianus), the remaining 15-20% consisted of cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), sea oxeye/daisy (Borrichia frutescens), saltwort (Batis maritima), glassworts (Salicornia spp.), sea purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum), saltmarsh bulrush (Bolboschoenus robustus), saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), and wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). Some vegetation stressors were observed including loss of leaves, leaf gall (irritation from insects), and paling. No invasive exotic plant species make up the plant community composition. Per the FLUCFCS, the Project site is classified as Saltwater Marsh (FLUCFC code 6420) and since the community is over 66% dominated by needlerush, can be further classified as Needlerush Saltwater Marsh (FLUCFCS code 6422). No seagrasses were observed and, the river is known to have silty, mucky bottom and is considered black-water due to the influence of tannins which leach out from leaves and vegetation.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to dredge 140 cubic yards within 750.1 square feet of the aquatic substrate to a depth of 7.13 feet below the mean low water line and discharge the dredged material into a 2,304 square feet intertidal estuarine marsh to facilitate the construction of a workboat loading ramp.  In addition, the applicant would construct a rectangular bulkhead containing the discharged dredged material and covering the material with filter fabric and turbidity screens.  The applicant would place 202 cubic yards of clean fill material (rock aggregate) onto the discharged dredged material to stabilize the surface of the loading ramp. Furthermore, the applicant would install two 22-inch steel stand-off pilings[BMMCUC(3] [CBJCUC(4]  stabilize the large vessels (10 feet by 130 feet and 14-feet by 46-feet).  In addition, three previously permitted (yet not constructed) wooden mooring dolphins in the permitted offshore mooring area are proposed to be replaced with four 22-inch steel piles.  The workboat ramp would be used to load and provide support for movement of supplies, pallets, and equipment onto the applicant’s barges/workboats for transport to offshore locations.

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 applicant owns 4 adjacent upland lots as part of the tugboat facility, Lots 6 – 9 from west to east.  Of the 4 lots, only Lot 8 is zoned locally for commercial activity in the upland, thus limiting the upland location from which the proposed loading ramp can come out from toward the water.  Lots 6 and 7 to the west are both zoned for residential use in the upland and have wider swaths of salt marsh fringe to traverse before reaching navigable water. In addition to having unfavorable zoning in the upland, siting the proposed loading ramp there would incur more salt marsh impacts.  Lot 9 to the east has less marsh to traverse at the shore to reach navigable water but the upland zoning is residential and thus prohibits the use of the upland for the land-based approach to the ramp.  The applicant has attempted to rezone the upland with the City of Jacksonville in 2017 from residential low density to industrial water and was denied[BMMCUC(5] [CBJCUC(6] [BMMCUC(7] .  An appeal was also filed and denied. On Lot 8, the location of the loading ramp was selected to utilize previously disturbed salt marsh and concentrate marsh impacts on the eastern limits of the marsh fringe spanning multiple parcels.  The loading ramp could not be pushed further eastward adjacent to the property line with the vacant residential Lot 9 because the upland access to the loading ramp could not be pushed closer to the property line while maintaining an efficient flow to the upland work environment. The marsh areas on Lot 8 adjacent to the direct impacts were evaluated for secondary impacts from the project and adequate mitigation has been provided at a permitted mitigation bank.”

.COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

The applicant would purchase 0.03 estuarine intertidal credits from North Florida Saltwater Marsh Mitigation Bank (SAJ- 2010-03461).


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 has determined the proposed project may affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). The Corps will formally consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for comments on our determination West Indian manatee. The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect[BMMCUC(8] [CBJCUC(9] , but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s Ridley Sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus oxyrhynchus), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum). The Corps will informally consult with the for comments on our determination The Corps used 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, September 2008 for our determination for the Wood Stork. The Corps used The Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, August 2013, for our determination for the eastern indigo snake.  The Corps will informally consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service for comments on the Corps determination on marine species. 

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 0.222-acre of estuarine intertidal habitat utilized by various life stages of shrimp, snapper and grouper species.  Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the St. Johns 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 approximately 7,500 feet away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal 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 and/or QUESTIONS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted to the project manager, Mr. Brad Carey, within 21 days from the date of this notice via electronic mail at or by telephone at 904-232-2405.

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.

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 State of Florida or St. Johns River Water Management District.

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.