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: Ryan Brown
11759 Blackwoods Lane
Palm Beach, FL 33412
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (WOTUS) associated with the Indian River - St. Lucie Inlet Watershed (12-digit Hydrologic Unit Code 030902060504). The project site is located along Hwy. A1A, in Section 29, Township 35 South, Range 41 East, St. Lucie County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 in St. Lucie County: take Exit 131 for SR 68 E and proceed east (4 miles); take N US Hwy.1 and proceed north (0.6 mile); take Seaway Drive and proceed east (2.5 miles); take A1A S and proceed south (5.3 miles); site is on the left (east) side of A1A S.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 27.399058°
Overall: Development of one (1) single-family beachfront residential lot/homesite with beach access to the Atlantic Ocean, and dock/boat access to the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) within the general Hutchinson Island area, St. Lucie County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The overall property site is divided by Highway A1A S, splitting the property into an eastern portion (2.8 acres) and western portion (2.3 acres). Overall, the site contains approximately 3 acres of mangrove swamp wetlands, 1 acre of exotic-infested uplands, and 1 acre of beach-shore and dune uplands. On-site wetlands proposed for impact are primarily comprised of various native mangrove species, and are hydrologically/tidally connected to the Indian River. The immediately surrounding areas consist of similar land forms and land uses.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a single-family residence including access driveway, and 2,570 square foot dock with boat-lift. The access driveway will result in 0.15 acre of direct fill impacts to tidally influenced saltwater mangrove wetlands, of which approximately 0.07 acre may be located at/below mean high water (MHW).
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:
There are no other access points that can legally be obtained or that have less impact that this chosen plan… House driveway impact size has to be a minimum as shown on plans due to EMS access, dock widths are standard and are shown as such on the site plans. Cost to build a bridge rather than a culverted driveway exponentially increase the project’s cost but still impacts the mangroves due to shading and when compared to the proposed culverts has little to no increase in potential flow increase or hydrological benefits. The lot configuration, being long and narrow prevents many alternative avoidance measures as it is compact and legal access is not available on the properties contiguous with this one. We have designed the project to have the fewest impacts possible.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant has offered the purchase of 0.20 estuarine wetland credits (E-WRAP) from the federally-approved Bear Point Mitigation Bank (SAJ-1997-07812).
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 Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” the West Indian Manatee, Wood Stork, Eastern Indigo Snake, swimming Sea Turtles, and Smalltooth Sawfish, or its designated critical habitat. The Corps has determined the proposal “may affect” the Piping Plover and nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle, or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.
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 proposed driveway access would impact approximately 0.07 acre or less of mangrove swamp habitat located at/below MHW which may be utilized by various life stages of fish species. The proposed dock pilings would impact approximately 130 square feet or less of river bed or mangrove swamp located at/below MHW which may be utilized by various life stages of fish species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the region of the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council. 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.
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 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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926, within 21 days from the date of this notice.
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, Jason D. Perryman, in writing at Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (321) 504-3771 x0010.
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 is required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The project has been approved under FDEP permit no. 56-0392745-002-EI.
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.