Public Notice Notifications

The Jacksonville District currently has five categories of public notice notification mailing lists. If you wish to receive email notifications when new public notices are added to this page, please send a request to Regulatory Webmaster.  Each category is described below. Be sure to specify which list(s) you want to be included on.

Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.


Published Nov. 10, 2022
Expiration date: 12/1/2022

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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:

APPLICANT: Dolphin Research Center
                     c/o Rita L. Irwin
                     58901 Overseas Highway
                     Grassy Key, FL 33050

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Gulf of Mexico. The project site is at the Dolphin Research Center (DRC) located at 58901 Overseas Highway, immediately adjacent to the Gulf; legally described as Grassy Key Lot 2, OR495-141/48; in Section 19, Township 65 South, Range 34 East, Grassy Key, Marathon, Monroe County, Florida 33050 (MM±58.8-Gulf) (RE Nos. 00100070-000300, 00100080-000000, 00100060-000100 and 00376020-000000).

Directions to the site are as follows: From Miami, drive south on U.S. 1, Overseas Highway, to approximately mile marker 58.8 and turn right onto the project site, the DRC.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude      24.767365° North
                                                                         Longitude -80.946186° West

Basic: The basic project purpose is to install 2 sets of dual in-water fencing to improve DRC marine mammal residing habitat.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to install 2 sets of dual fencing to reduce accumulation of floating dead seagrass and improve living conditions for marine mammals at the DRC while meeting the requirements of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The DRC is located on the north side of Grassy Key, Monroe County, Florida. The project site is within two main basins immediately connected to open waters of the Gulf. The DRC supports multiple structures including, a boa-tramp, multiple fixed docks and floating platforms, and 6 different pens/enclosures, each isolated by mesh and chain link fences. The property’s shoreline is partially armored with riprap and concrete dock/seawall. Some areas of the property’s shoreline support a shrub red mangrove fringe. According to a submitted survey, performed on March 2nd, 2022, no impacts to submerged aquatic resources (i.e. listed seagrass, corals and hardbottom) will occur within the proposed project footprint. Substrates at the project site, ranged from medium sands with some silt offshore to fine sands under organic detritus near shore. No consolidated benthic surfaces were observed or any submerged aquatic resources (i.e. corals, seagrass) were identified within the proposed project footprint. The fencing plan is designed to avoid placement of fence piles in areas adjacent to the basins which support submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to remove existing mesh barriers/fences at the DRC and install two (2) new sets of dual PVC mesh fencing. The first proposed fence will be approximately 326-linear feet long followed by a second fence running parallel to the first fence, 10’ apart from each other, extending from the shoreline on the west side of the upland property extending northward to the west end of an existing T-shaped causeway, both end of the fencing will be secured/fenced. The second proposed dual PVC mesh fence will be approximately 388-linear feet followed by a second fence running parallel to the first fence, 3’ apart from each other, extending from the shoreline on the east side of the upland property extending northwestward to the east end of the T-shaped causeway. All of the proposed fencing will extend 6-feet above the mean high-water line, the PVC mesh fence has 3-inches by 2.5- inches opening and will be supported by a total of fifty (50) 3” diameter aluminum pile and seven (7) 8” diameter concrete piling with steel pin core. The four (4) proposed fences will maintain a 2” clearance from the seafloor. Temporarily turbidity curtains will be deployed and will remain in place for the duration of all in-water activities, in/over waters of the United States. Work is in/over U.S. navigable waters in accordance with the enclosed site plans. The project is further described in the enclosed project exhibits (Sheets 1-8).

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:

Temporarily turbidity curtains will be deployed and will remain in place for the duration of all in-water activities, in/over waters of the United States.
The applicant has proposed a maintenance plan for proposed fencing which included daily inspection of the fences for structural integrity, removal of accumulated material by hand as required by various entities, including APHIS.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If mitigation is required by the Army Corps of Engineers the appropriate mitigation will be determined with a UMAM and payment made to Keys Restoration Fund.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. This determination is partially based on the applicant agreeing to follow the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).
The project is located within American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) consultation area. According to the 28 October 2014 American Crocodile Key, the property does not support suitable nesting habitat for the crocodile. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence #2 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. Therefore, the Corps has reached a “may affect not likely to adversely affect” determination on the American crocodile and its suitable nesting habitat.

The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Giant Manta ray (Manta birostris), Oceanic White Tipped shark (Carcharinus lonigmanus), and Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus)species. A no effect determination was reached on Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox) and smalltooth sawfish critical habitat. The Corps will request 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 8,382 ft² of submerged sea bottom utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 structure is not located in the vicinity of a federal navigation channel.

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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida, 33176, within 21 days from the date of this notice (i.e. on or before December 1st, 2022).

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, Gletys Guardia-Montoya at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at, or by telephone at 305-526-2515.

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 Department of Environmental Protection.

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.