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:
Gandy Harbor I, II and III, LLC
2840 West Bay Drive, PMB Box 123
Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Masters Bayou, Tampa Bay. The project site approximate location is 1496 106th Ave NE St. Petersburg, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-75 south to exit 256 FL-618 (Selmon Expressway). Continue on FL-618 to SR-92 St. Petersburg (W. Gandy Boulevard) over the bridge. Turn left on San Fernando Drive NE, and then left on 106th Avenue NE. The project is at the end of the road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Marina, dredging and shoreline stabilization.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the development of a commercial marina with dredging for access and shoreline stabilization.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The “Snug Harbor Marina” project site is comprised of an assemblage of five parcels totaling ±38.92 acres, located at the southeast corner of Gandy Boulevard and Snug Harbor Road. The existing shoreline of the project area is comprised almost entirely of a deteriorated concrete seawall. The shoreline contains narrow stands of white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) and red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle).
The wetland system at the project site is the Masters Bayou that consists of a ±4.93 acres of saltwater system. Soils within the project area include (14) Kesson fine sand, very frequently flooded and (16) Matlacha and St. Augustine soils and Urban Land.
Vegetation observed consisted mostly of open areas of Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), ragweed (Ambrosia spp.), and dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium). Upland stands of Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), Australian pine (Casuarina sp.), Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla), sesbania pea (Sesbania bispinosa), and cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica) were also scattered throughout the site.
Masters Bayou that occurs within the project site. Masters Bayou consists primarily of a mud flat benthic community with broken shell fragments scattered throughout. Fiddler crab (Uca spp.) burrows were observed, and barnacle and oyster clusters were visible along the seawall and remaining dock pilings.
The transition zone between uplands and open water on the eastern portion of the project site. A few narrow stands of white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), and saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) are located along the seawall separating the upland project site and Masters Bayou located to the east. Although this area exhibits minimal wetland characteristics, mangroves are present and hydrologic indicators show areas of periodic flooding. This classification also comprises a small mangrove island located along the eastern boundary in the central portion of the project site. Visible vegetation on the island consisted of white and red mangroves. The mangrove island on-site is not proposed for impact and will remain as-is.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to redevelop a site for a mixed-use development that will include two (2) multi-family residential dock structures with a total of 35 wet slips, a commercial marina with 30 wet slips and 150 dry slips, and a public restaurant. Additionally, seawall replacement, maintenance and new dredging of submerged lands, reconfigured seawall construction and excavation to widen an existing upland cut basin, reconfigured seawall construction to “straighten” the shoreline to support dry storage facility waterside access/function, and upland grading are also proposed to accommodate waterway access to Masters Bayou/Old Tampa Bay, allow for the installation of the proposed wet docks, and accommodate the on-site development stormwater management system.
The detail of the proposed work is as follows:
- Remove four (4) docks with a total area of 1,270 ft2.
- Remove one (1) boat ramp with a total area of 410 ft2.
- Remove 441 old dock and free-standing mooring piles will be pulled (piles which cannot be fully extracted will be cut off 2 feet below the proposed dredge elevation)
- Debris will be contained on the barge and disposed at an approved upland waste facility.
Outfalls and Seawall Replacement
- Replace existing 36-inch diameter stormwater outfall pipe with a new pipe manatee exclusion grate (bars spaced a maximum of 8 inches apart) at the waterward end.
- Construction of a new 48-inch-diameter stormwater outfall pipe with a manatee exclusion grate at the waterward end.
- Demolition of 2,431 linear feet of the existing concrete seawall cap to accommodate the new composite sheet piles immediately waterward of the existing wall.
- Replace 2,431 linear feet of existing concrete sheet pile seawall by driving with a vibratory hammer UC-50 Composite Sheet Piles a maximum of 18 inches waterward of the existing seawall.
Upland Cut Boat Basin Widening
- Construction of 318 linear feet of seawall upland of the MHWL by driving with a vibratory hammer UC-50 Composite Sheet Piles
- Excavation of 12,804 square feet (4,587 cubic yards) of upland area and demolition of 297 linear feet of existing seawall to widen the existing upland cut boat basin.
North Marina Basin Reconfiguration
- Remove 398 linear feet of existing seawall and construct 380 linear feet of new reconfigured seawall in the same vicinity as the removed seawall at the north end of the project site by driving with a vibratory hammer UC-50 Composite Sheet Piles.
- Backfill landward of the north marina basin replacement and reconfigured seawalls with 5,142 square feet (1,030 cubic yards in uplands and 324 cubic yards below the Mean High Water (MHW) Line to level out grade and provide access for the commercial dry storage marina and restaurant facilities.
The in-water outfalls, seawall and basin reconfiguration project components will take approximately 25 weeks to construct.
- Maintenance dredging 97,468 square feet (7,975 cubic yards) of submerged lands to -5.0 feet Mean Low Water (MLW). An additional 1,130 cubic yards of new dredging is proposed below this previously authorized depth.
The proposed dredging will take approximately 8 weeks to construct.
- Construction of two (2) fixed timber residential dock structures (a total of 5,362 square feet) with 222 12-inch-diameter timber support piles (completely wrapped in sleeves of impermeable PVC, plastic or similar material, from at least one foot below the mud line to at least one foot above the MHW line) for a total of 35 residential wet slips;
- Construction of one (1) concrete or aluminum multi-family residential floating kayak launch with a 12-foot x 10-foot pile supported gangway platform, a 5-foot by 50-foot gangway and 10-foot x 30-foot low freeboard kayak dock to be supported with 18-inch-diameter steel pipe piles or 18-inch-square pre-stressed concrete piles;
- Construction of one (1) floating concrete or aluminum commercial marina docking facility (a total of 16,637 square feet) with 86 18-inch diameter steel pipe or 18-inch square pre-stressed concrete guide piles to accommodate 30 wet slips, 480 linear feet of dry storage facility launch/retrieval staging slips, one (1) sewage pumpout slip, and one (1) fueling slip open to the general public;
- Construction of one (1) commercial marina dry stack building on the uplands for 150 dry slips;
- Construction of dockside public fueling facilities with two fuel pumps.
- One (1) public concrete or aluminum floating kayak launch with a 15-foot x 15-foot gangway platform, a 6-foot x 75-foot gangway and a 12-foot x 30-foot low freeboard floating kayak dock to be supported with 18-inch-diameter steel pipe piles or 18-inch-square pre-stressed concrete piles; and
The in-water project components will take approximately 20 weeks to construct.
The 12-inch-diameter timber piles will be installed using a vibratory hammer. The 18-inch-diameter steel pipe piles or 18-inch-square pre-stressed concrete piles will be installed in open water only with a vibratory hammer to the greatest extent possible. While it is likely that all piles can be installed 100% with a vibratory hammer, in the unlikely case that hard substrate is encountered before the minimum pile tip elevation, final seating of the piles into hard substrate with an impact hammer may be required. No more than 5 steel pipe piles will be seated per day with use of an impact hammer; use of the impact hammer will be on an as-needed, intermittent basis.
- All work will be performed from uplands or via a shallow draft pontoon barge with at least one foot of draft clearance above the submerged substrate when fully loaded.
- Work will occur during daylight hours only.
- No listed or non-listed seagrass or corals are located within the footprint of the above referenced structures. Mangroves are located within the north portion of the proposed marina in the location of the three (3) floating staging docks.
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 powerboat slip count has been reduced from 270 (169 dry and 101 wet) to 215 slips (150 dry and 65 wet). Due to elimination of the south two residential dock structures, the residential timber dock area was reduced from 11,307 SF to 5,362 SF.
The proposed overall site dredge areas was reduced from 101,460 SF to 97,468 SF and the and volumes were reduced from 8,050 CY to 7,975 SF.
The Project design was modified to eliminate adverse impact to the 0.007 acre of mangrove wetland that is located along the seawall in the south half of the project area, for an approximately 2% reduction relative to the original proposed mangrove impact area of 0.35 acre.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to mangroves will be provided by purchasing 0.22 saltwater credits from Mangrove Point Mitigation Bank (MPMB). The project site is within the service area of MPMB and is located within the same drainage basin.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: 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: Piping Plover (Aphelocoma coerulescens): The project area is located within the Piping Plover Consultation Area. According to the 22 May 2013 Programmatic Piping Plover Biological Opinion, Piping Plover habitat includes publicly owned land where coastal processes are allowed to function, mostly unimpeded. It generally does include public lands consisting of parks, preserves, and natural undeveloped shorelines and dunes. Piping Plover wintering habitat includes beaches, mudflats, sandflats, and barrier island beaches and spoils islands (Haig 1992). Piping Plover can be seen on ocean beaches and sand or algal flats in protected bays (Wilkinson and Spinks 1994). Since the project is located in open waters and all shorelines are armored the Corps has determined that a “No effect” determination is appropriate, and consultation for the Piping Plover is not required.
Wood stork (Mycteria americana): The project area is located within the Wood Stork consultation and foraging areas. However, the proposed activities would not directly or indirectly impact the Wood Stork or suitable foraging habitat for the species. Based upon the review of the Wood Stork Key for Jacksonville Ecological Services Office dated September 2008, the proposed project resulted in the following sequential determination: A> B> C = “not likely to adversely affect” (NLAA) the wood stork. This determination is based on the project impacting less than 0.5 acre of suitable foraging habitat (SFH). Based upon the “NLAA” determination for the Wood Stork, no further coordination is required.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined the proposed project "may affect" the Manatee. The use of the Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A> B> C> D> E> F> G> H> I> J> L> M = "May affect." Since the project would create a multi-slip facility in a county without a State-approved MPP, located in Pinellas County, and exceeds the residential dock density, further consultation with the Service is necessary for "May affect" determinations. Therefore, the Corps will initiate consultation by separate letter.
Smalltooth sawfish and Swimming Sea Turtles: 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; 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 does NOT fall within the scope of the JAXBO. The Corps will request informal consultation with NMFS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate correspondence.
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. [INCLUDE IF APPROPRIATE] The proposal would impact approximately 2.24 acres of benthic area and 0.343 acres of mangroves 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. 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 3 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 Edgar.W.Garcia@usace.army.mil with the project number, SAJ-2021-02145, 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 Edgar.W.Garcia@usace.army.mil, 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.
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: Water Quality Certification (WQC) 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.