Public Notice Notifications

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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.

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SAJ-2013-02318 (SP-CPC)

Published Jan. 11, 2023
Expiration date: 2/13/2023
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:

Pasco County Board of County Commissioners
7750 Congress St.
New Port Richey, FL 34653

Florida Department/Division of State Lands
3900 Commonwealth Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32399

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Rocky Creek; a tidal creek connected directly to the Gulf of Mexico. The project site is located along the northern boundary of Key Vista Nature Park at 2700 Baillies Bluff Road in Holiday, Pasco County, Florida, in Sections 26 and 27 of Township 26 South and Range 15 East.

Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and Moog Road in Holiday, proceed west on Moog Road for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Strauber Memorial Highway. Proceed for 1.5 miles and turn right into Key Vista Nature Park.

Latitude 28.199831°
Longitude -82.782055°

Basic: Stream bank stabilization and water-based recreational improvements
Overall: Navigational improvements for kayakers and upstream motorized boat users within Rocky Creek as well as to stabilize and enhance shoreline habitat and increase recreation value by providing viewing platforms and kayak launch.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project area (Rocky Creek) is comprised of a man-made navigation channel adjacent to Key Vista Nature Park a 101-acre public park and approximately 0.5 mile north of the Anclote Gulf North Park, south of Bailey’s Bluff Estates, in Pasco County, Florida. Rocky Creek is a Class III Waterbody. Uplands within the park are comprised primarily of pine flatwoods dominated by slash pine (Pinus eliotti), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto) and saw palmetto, (Serenoa repens), with some live oak (Quercus virginiana) and southern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). The wetland system consists of a saltwater system. Rocky Creek contains a notable (approximately 4 out of 6 acres) amount of seagrass coverage along its entire length. The dominant seagrass is shoal grass (Halodule wrightii), which is interspersed with turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of mangroves and other intertidal vegetation. Tidal canal originally excavated between 1957-1962. Western 700 feet of existing channel was excavated through uplands – rest through wetlands. Shoreline of creek is sandy and vegetated in areas with mangroves and coastal fringe species but is experiencing erosion. Oyster beds are present in the system but are outside project area and should not be impacted.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to maintenance dredge 0.62 acres within an existing channel and construct two (2) observation platforms, one 20’ by 20’ platform with a 10’ by 20’ extension (900 sf) and the other 8’ by 30’ (240 sf) and an ADA-compliant 8’ by 37.6’ kayak launch (301 sf). The project also intends to enhance 3,300 square feet of shoreline / wetland using oyster reef bags and native plants.

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: existing seagrass was mapped and compared with to the location of the existing channel, proposed/historic channel, and channel with the least amount of grass impact. Seagrasses are present within all three channel options with the straight, proposed historical dredge having the least impact. The existing meandering channel showed the largest seagrass impact and the lowest seagrass impact had impacts to oyster beds and mangroves.

The project has been designed to avoid impacts to mangroves with the proposed bank stabilization efforts, the kayak launch, and the observation platform. The kayak launch and observation plat forms will be placed in locations without mangrove coverage and areas without seagrass.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The applicant plans to relocate seagrasses within the footprint of the proposed dredging to suitable adjacent sites.

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 proposal may affect the West Indian Manatee. The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork and the Piping Plover. The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay. The Corps will request initiation of formal 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 0.62 acres of seagrass utilized by various life stages of marine fish. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the dredged area. 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 9,800 feet 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, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610 within 30 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, Carissa Curlee, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Ave, Tampa, Fl 33610; by electronic mail at; or, by telephone at (813)769 7076.

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 is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 51-0423388-001-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.