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:
City of St. Petersburg
PO Box 2842
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with South Yacht Basin, Tampa Bay. The project site approximate location is 250 2nd Ave SE, Sections 19, Township 31 South, and Range 17 East, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, 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. Continue on SR-92 to 4th Street North. Turn Left onto Pinellas Trail. Pinellas Trail flows onto 1st Ave SE and then onto 2nd Ave SE. The project is on the right after crossing the canal bridge.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Marina dock expansion.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to conduct the sailing center marina improvement / expansion.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The St. Petersburg Sailing Center Marina site is seawalled and is comprised of thirty-two (32) wet slips and approximately forty-nine (49) dry slips on the upland for their sailing vessel fleet. There is a total of ten (10) powerboats stored at the Sailing Center, nine (9) of which reside on trailers in the uplands and are launched when in use for sailing support vessels.
There is a total of 6,092 square feet of floating dock structure. The main “T” shaped pier is a sic (6) feet wide by one-hundred and thirty-six (136) long aluminum framed floating dock with a ninety-nine and a half (99.5) foot long by six (6) feet wide terminal. There are two (2) aluminum ramps mounted to the bulkhead on either side of the main “T” pier and the pier itself accessible by an aluminum gangway. To the east of the main pier there is twenty (20) feet wide by ninety-one (91) eight (8) inch long small boat storage aluminum framed floating dock, this dock maintains approximately twelve (12) of the 420s youth sailboats. East of the storage float there is sixty (60) feet long by eight (8) foot (five (5) inches wide aluminum framed floating pier, flanking the pier are two (2) forty (40) foot five (5) inches aluminum framed floating docks.
On the east side there is twelve (12) feet by thirty (30) feet timber ramp. To the west of the main pier there is a five (5) foot nine (9) inches by fifty-nine (59) feet five (5) inches long fixed timber marginal dock, with a seven (7) feet six (6) inches wide floating timber framed dock located on the west side and two (2) five (5) feet by twenty (20) feet long plastic floating docks located along the south side. Along the west canal there is a seven (7) foot six (6) inches by twenty (2) feet long aluminum ramp.
Based on the information provided by the applicant field surveys, seagrass / SAV, and benthic hard bottom communities were found in de minimis amounts within the project area. Continuous seagrass meadows and patchy-discontinuous seagrass meadows were absent. The seafloor consisted of sand and silt.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to reconfigure and expand the existing marina facility. The proposed project entails reconfiguration and relocation of existing structures and addition of an eight (8) foot wide and one-hundred (100) foot long staging dock along the west side with a twelve (12) foot wide by twenty (20) foot long floating aluminum access dock. The project also includes the relocation of the sailboat storage floating dock from the south side of the property to the canal along the west side, at the original location of the storage float a new floating dock is proposed, this dock is ninety-two (92) feet long and six (6) feet wide with four (4) finger piers of dimension (4’x20’). The project would allow to expand the in-water slip capacity from 32 slips to 49 slips.
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 impacts to resources for this project, driving the 16-piles will take 1-2 days, wood block cushions will be utilized for noise / impact reduction and dampening. Furtherance to support zero impact, there are no timber or treated timber components, the proposed floating dock structures require minimal piles as compared to a fixed structure, the piles are concrete and will last a lifetime. The benthic resource survey indicated there were no resources within the project area.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The benthic resource survey indicated there were no resources within the project area, therefore NO mitigation is required as the project has zero impact on resources.
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.
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. The proposal would potentially impact areas 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 1.1 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-1983-00486, in the subject line within 21 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.