Public Notice Notifications

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SAJ-2016-00169 (SP-EWG)

Jacksonville District
Published Nov. 15, 2022
Expiration date: 12/15/2022

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

APPLICANT:      Save Crystal River, Inc.

                           Attn: Lisa Moore

                           P.O. Box 2169

                           Crystal River, FL 34423

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Crystal River/Kings Bay. The project area covers a total of 79.14 acres of the eastern and northern shoreline of Kings Bay and the associated manmade canals beginning south of the intersection of NW 19th Street and NW 21st Court and continuing in a southeasterly direction to the intersection of NE 2nd Avenue and NE 2nd Street. The project is generally located in Sections 18, 19, 20 and 21, Township 18 South, Range 17 East, Crystal River, Citrus County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows:  From I-75, head north to exit 329, State Road 44.  Head west on SR 44 to US Highway 19.  Turn south (Left) on US Highway 19 to Kings Bay Drive. Continue on Kings Bay Drive for 0.4 miles and turn North (right) on SE 2nd Avenue.  The project is located at Kings Bay.


Project Phase









































Basic:  The basic project purpose is maintenance dredging and aquatic vegetation restoration.

Overall:  The overall project purpose is to maintenance dredge muck consisting of lyngbya spp. algae and detrital material from the northern and eastern extent of Kings Bay in order to expose a mineral substrate that is suitable for planting native aquatic vegetation.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The proposed work would occur in the eastern and northern extent of Kings Bay. In recent years, the Crystal River system and Kings Bay have suffered an influx of invasive species such as water hyacinth (Eichorna crassipes) and nutrient loading which has caused algal blooms of lyngbya spp. The natural die off and management of these invasive species along with the continued nutrient loading has caused a muck layer of lyngbya to settle on the riverbed and bottom of the canals replacing the mineralized substrate that used to support native submerged aquatic vegetation communities of tape grass (Vallisneria americana). The proposed work is a continuation of similar work the Corps authorized as Phases I, IA, and IB on August 4, 2016, and Phases 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B on 16 November 2021 under the same file number as this action.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to suction dredge a total of 29,400 cubic yards of muck consisting of lyngbya spp. algae and other dead and decaying detrital material from a total of 79.14 acres in the eastern and northern extent of Kings Bay and several associated residential canals. Dredged material will be temporarily contained in geotube bags for dewatering and permanently disposed of in self-contained upland disposal areas. The applicant also proposes to plant tape grass (Vallisneria americana) at various planting sites within both project areas.

A total of 395,700 nursery grown planting units will be installed, protected and maintained over a one year period and monitor the results for a three year period.  Lastly, the applicant seeks to temporarily deploy a maximum of 8,306 herbivore exclusion cages over the proposed plantings in order to prevent grazing on the plantings until the vegetation is established and self-sustaining. The applicant estimates that an individual cage would need to remain in a single place for approximately 12 months from installation. The applicant seeks to deploy the cages in water depths exceeding -4 feet mean low lower water. The proposed dredging depths are limited to only that necessary to remove the muck layer down to natural, native mineralized sediments. The project is more particularly described on the attached project drawings.

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:

In order to avoid impacts to any established aquatic resources within the work area, the applicant proposes to utilize precision vacuum dredge equipment. The applicant proposes to use a diver-controlled, handheld suction dredge when working in the vicinity of desirable submerged aquatic vegetation to ensure that the proposed work would not impact any existing communities of native submerged aquatic vegetation. Furthermore, the applicant proposes to utilize upland disposal for the dredge spoil, and to use a self-contained disposal cell while dredge work is ongoing. Also, the applicant proposes to deploy turbidity barriers and employ proper erosion control measures during all stages of the proposed work to ensure that turbidity would not escape the immediate work area.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:

On April 4 - 5, 2022 the applicant performed benthic transect surveys of the proposed dredge areas. A total area of approximately 60 acres of a total 79.14 acres were found to have conditions unsuitable for long term SAV survival.  Therefore, the proposed maintenance dredging would not impact any desirable communities of submerged aquatic vegetation. In addition, the applicant seeks to plant and establish native communities of submerged aquatic vegetation when the maintenance dredging is complete. In light of these facts, the applicant believes that compensatory mitigation is not warranted for the proposed project.


The proposed work would occur within Kings Bay, and the applicant does not seek to dredge any mineralized parent substrate that may support historic or cultural resources.  Also, as to the proposed work in the manmade canals, previous work has extensively modified these areas.  The previous dredging of these canals likely removed any resources that may have been present.  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.


Species under National Marine Fisheries Service Protected Resources Division’s purview:

The Corps utilized the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO), dated November 2017, to analyze the effects from 10 categories of minor in-water activities occurring in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean on sea turtles (loggerhead, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, hawksbill, and green); smalltooth sawfish; Giant manta ray; Nassau grouper; scalloped hammerhead shark, Johnson's seagrass; sturgeon (Gulf, shortnose, and Atlantic); corals (elkhorn, staghorn, boulder star, mountainous star, lobed star, rough cactus, and pillar); whales (North Atlantic right whale, sei, blue, fin, and sperm); and designated critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass; smalltooth sawfish; sturgeon (Gulf and Atlantic); sea turtles (green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead); North Atlantic right whale; and corals (elkhorn and staghorn) in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Corps has determined that the proposed project falls within the scope of the JAXBO. The Corps will request concurrence with this determination with NMFS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate correspondence.

Species under U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s purview:

West Indian (Florida) manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris): Based upon the review of The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013, (the Key); the proposal by the applicant in Phase 5A involves in-water work within a Warm Water Aggregation Area, Use of this Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B(7); “may affect.”  However, the evaluation of the Key in Phases 5B, through 7C resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B>C>D>E>F>G>N>O>P12 “May affect, not likely to adversely affect”  Since the project is other than repair or rehabilitation of a multi-slip facility, a new multi-slip facility, residential dock facility, shoreline stabilization, or dredging, and does not provide new access for watercraft or improve existing access to allow increased watercraft usage.  Additionally, during the previous project Phases, given the nature and scope of the project and the conservation measures, on 15 November 2021, the Service concurred (FWS Log Number 04EF1000-2022-I-0073) with the Corps’ determination that the project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” the manatee.  Therefore, since the project is a continuation of the previous phases and similar in nature,  the Corps will include the Service’s recommendations detailed in FWS Log Number 04EF1000-2022-I-0073 as part of its evaluation and request initiation of informal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

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 79.14 acres of benthic area potentially utilized by various life stages of Penaeid shrimp complex; red drum; stone crab; spiny lobster; and/or the snapper/grouper complex. 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. The applicant seeks to specifically target and remove a muck layer from the work area that does not support the lifecycle or foraging needs of the species referenced above. Furthermore, the applicant proposes to replant and reestablish the native, historic vegetation community at the project site. Thus, it is likely that the proposed project would have a beneficial effect on EFH and 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: Based on the Florida State Plane coordinates provided by the applicant, the waterward edge of the proposed structure is 50 Nautical Miles 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 regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Tampa Permits Section, by electronic mail to with the project number, SAJ-2016-00169, in the subject line within 30 days from the date of this notice.  Comments can also be submitted at 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302

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, Edgar W. Garcia, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, by electronic mail at, by mail at 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302 or by telephone at 813-769-7062.

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).

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.