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: David Grego
Sunrise Isle Canal Restoration President
800 70th Street
Marathon, Florida 33050
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The project site is located at the mouth of a residential canal, Canal #257, East of Sombrero Beach Road, run parallel to Man-O-War Lane, Offshore of the Sunrise Isle neighborhood; in Section 14, Township 66 South, Range 32 East; Marathon, Monroe County, Florida 33050. (MM± 50-Ocean). (RE#s 00104640-000100; 00354720-000000; 00354710-000000; 00355151-000100).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Miami Drive South on US-1 (Overseas Highway), to approximately mile marker 50, turn left onto Sombrero Beach Road, follow the road for approximately 1 mile, then turn left onto Man-O-War Drive, follow the road to the end.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.700933° North
Longitude: -81.077316° West
Basic: The basic project purpose is to install a physical gate and air curtain across the mouth of a man-made canal to act as a seaweed barrier.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to is to install a physical gate and air curtain across the mouth of a man-made canal to act as a seaweed barrier for a residential canal in Marathon, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is located at the mouth of a man-made canal, C#257, within a developed subdivision of Sombrero Beach Village, Marathon, Monroe County, Florida. The Sunrise canal, Canal C#257, is access via a historical dredged channel within the Atlantic Ocean. The Canal is armored with riprap at the entrance and then mostly armored with a seawall through the remainder of the area. A few lots support a mangrove fringe along the shoreline. The Channel is wide at the opening of the canal and narrows as it progresses to open water. In 2018, the Corps authorized maintenance dredging of this canal and recorded dense seagrass adjacent to the access channel but not within the canal. No hardbottom or corals were documented within the canal a the time; however, seagrass has been identified within the proposed project footprint. The project is located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Boundary.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to (1) install 350 liner feet floating seaweed barrier with skirt to be 3-inches off the sea-bottom, with 14 Dusk to dawn navigation beacons, every 25-feet and 14 Helical auger anchors, spaced every 25 feet; (2) install 195 liner feet floating seaweed barrier with skirt to be 3-inches off the sea-bottom, with 8 Dusk to dawn navigation beacons, every 25-feet and 8 Helical Auger anchors, spaced every 25 feet; (3) install twelve 12” air diffusers to create an air curtain gate to prevent the accumulation of seaweed within the mouth of the canal; (4) install 6-350-linear fee segments of ¾” diameter weighted tubing, to run along the edge of the riprap slope; (5) to install 4' wide by 3’ high reflective hazard sign; (6) and to install a 126’ long by 30’ temporary bard staging area, as depicted on the enclosed work set of plans (7-pages). 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 (7-pages).
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.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The applicant has not proposed compensatory mitigation, as they stated their project would not adversely impact aquatic resources and it is expected to result on the improvement of water quality in the canal system.
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: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A-B>2 “may affect”. The Corps will initiate consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) via a separate letter.
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 Google Earth Resource at Risk (RAR) report for the subject parcel included the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) and Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii): According to the Multi species recovery plan the piping plover does not breed in Florida but may winter in Florida. The PCEs for the species are found in geographically dynamic coastal areas that support intertidal beaches and flats (between annual low tide and annual high tide), and associated dune systems and flats above annual high tide. The project site is not within optimal piping plover habitat as the project site is located within an armored channel and basin system and within a highly developed community; therefore, a no effect determination has been reached on the species.
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), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) Giant Manta ray (Manta birostris ) species and Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat. A no effect determination was reached on 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 via a 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 4,661 feet of submerged 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 activity and structures are 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 January 18th, 2023).
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 submerged waters. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project.
QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Gletys Guardia-Montoya at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at Gletys.Guardia-Montoya@usace.army.mil, or by telephone at 786-920-7183.
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.