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: The Bay Park Conservancy
655 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota FL 34236
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States known as Centennial Bay which is associated with Sarasota Bay. Centennial Bay is a man-made feature associated with Centennial Park at 1059 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Sarasota County, FL 34236.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-75 North, take the FL-780/Fruitville Road exit (Exit 210) toward Sarasota. Keep left to tale the ramp toward Sarasota and turn left onto FL-780/Fruitville Road. Turn right onto Tamiami Trail/North Tamiami Trail/US-41/FL-45 and turn left onto 10th Street where Centennial Canal is on your right. Alternatively, turn left into Centennial Park and the man-made basin is on your left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
PROJECT PURPOSE: Basic: Public access to Sarasota Bay. Overall: The proposed project involves demolition of existing wooden dock, repair and replacement of the southern seawall and concrete cap; filling of privately owned tidal waters within the man-made basin to eliminate the Lot 10 boat basin and straighten the southern shoreline; maintenance dredging to provide adequate water depths for floating docks and navigation; construction of two floating concrete marginal docks, one along the northeast side of the man-made basin and the other along the southern side of the man-made basin; and installation of a cantilevered platform over the existing culvert at the southeast corner of the man-made basin.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Centennial Basin is approximately 692 feet long and 180 feet wide for approximately 2.86 acres of man-made open water area. Three sides of the basin are currently seawalled and the western boundary is open to Sarasota Bay. The project site consists of an existing wood dock along the southern boundary; a small basin area in the southern portion of the Centennial Bay basin; a public boat ramp located in the northern boundary area. The public boat ramp consists of three (3) boat launching areas separated by 4 marginal docks with 2 horizontal docks along the seawall. The upland portion of Centennial Park is located north of the basin area and consists of grass and landscape plants. The submerged lands within the project area consist of areas of unconsolidated sediment.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to complete the following:
- remove an existing 305 square feet (SF) timber dock and 19 timber pilings adjacent to the former USCG Auxiliary Station
- fill 5,356 SF of submerged lands with 467 cubic yards (CY) of fill below MHW within privately owned tidal waters within the man-made basin to eliminate the Lot 10 boat basin and straighten the southern shoreline
- install 854 linear feet (LF) of steel sheet pile seawall; 457 LF within 18 inches (IN) of existing seawall, 21 LF across the mouth of the boat notch, and 376 LF waterward of the existing seawall to straighten the shoreline along the south and southwest perimeter of the basin. The maximum distance from the existing seawall will be 15 ft 2 in.
- install 3 temporary timber piles (3 SF) to support navigation signs that will be installed prior to dredging that will state “Shallow Waters/Seagrass Area” at the northwest end of Centennial Basin to keep vessels from traversing over the shallow seagrass area when the turbidity curtains are installed during construction
- maintenance dredging of 1,585 cubic yards (CY) of silt covering an area of 51,554 SF of privately owned submerged lands to a maximum depth of -4.54 ft MLW to provide adequate water depths for the floating docks and vessel navigation. Maintenance dredging of 1,585 CY will be performed within the limits of the man-made basin. Maintenance dredging will be performed using a hydraulic dredge with a swing ladder and cutterhead mounted on a shallow-draft barge. Dredging is proposed within the eastern portion of the man-made basin and along the southern seawall, where water depths are less than 4 ft. Installation of forty-eight 12-inch temporary timber piles (38 SF) will occur prior to dredging to anchor the turbidity curtains in place. There will be no dredging or impacts to seagrasses.
The slurry material will be pumped from the barge to the dredge containment area, via hydraulic piping. Dredged material will be allowed to dry in the containment area. Dredged material will be piped upland to geotextile tubes located within the lined containment area for dewatering. The dredge containment area (10,579 SF) is located on the vacant uplands adjacent to the man-made basin, between the man-made basin and 10th street. Effluent water will be discharged into the mixing zone within the turbidity curtains and within the mixing zone. The Water Quality Monitoring Plan on sheet G-003 of the Permit Drawings will be strictly adhered to. Once the material is de-watered it will be transported to the Sarasota County Landfill.
- construct two (2) concrete floating docks to provide a total slip count of 22 new slips for the use by the general public, on a first come first served basis, for day/evening (no overnight) dockage to access “The Bay Park” amenities and local attractions. The northern dock will be a 140 ft by 10 ft (1,535 SF) floating concrete marginal dock that will accommodate four 26 ft long by 10 ft wide boat mooring areas. The southern dock will be 160 ft by 10 ft (7,140 SF) floating concrete marginal dock to support eighteen (18) 26 ft long by 10 ft wide boat mooring areas.
- Installation of a 144 SF cantilevered platform over the existing culvert in the southeast corner of the man-made basin. The platform will be supported by two anchor piles installed on the uplands.
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: To prevent adverse impacts to benthic resources within and adjacent to the basin, erosion and turbidity control measures will be implemented prior to construction. Type II turbidity curtains will be field located to ensure they are installed outside of seagrass beds and staked in place around the areas where demolition, construction, and dredging are proposed to prevent damage to benthic resources and to control turbidity. The turbidity curtains will be checked daily, prior to commencement of work, to ensure they are secured in place. Turbidity monitoring will be conducted twice daily during construction at three stations: the mixing zone, compliance station, and background stations. Three temporary signs will be installed at the northwest end of the man-made basin, outside of the seagrass bed, to advise vessels to steer clear of the shallow seagrass beds during construction, when the turbidity curtains temporality decrease the width of the man-made basin.
Maintenance dredging of the man-made basin is consistent with the Sarasota County Manatee Protection Plan. Best Management Practices (BMPs) will be implemented throughout construction, including operating only during daylight hours, overwater work involving barges will avoid areas of seagrass, installation of floating Type II turbidity curtains, as well as adherence to the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work and the Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Guidelines. Construction personnel will be responsible for observing water-related activities to detect the presence of manatees, smalltooth sawfish, and sea turtles and to avoid them.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: No impacts to marine resources are proposed so no compensatory mitigation is required.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of recorded historic resources within or adjacent to the permit area and 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 (Trichechus manatus) as determined using the 2013 Manatee Key - A>B>C>G>H>I>J>K>N>O>P. The Corps reviewed the associated mapping for Sarasota County associated with the manatee key and the project is not located within a special designated area for the western manatee.
The Centennial Basin is part of an area designated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a State Manatee Protection Zone. This designation includes the waters to be slow speed year-round for all vessels. After review of the FWC Manatee Mortality information it indicates the closest natural death of a manatee to be approximately 2,600 feet to the SW of the Centennial Basin.
The project will not increase boating traffic stemming from the existing ramps but will increase the number of vessels allowed to be moored within the man-made basin area. Currently there is an existing dock that can moor up to 6 vessels. The proposed floating docks consist of 22 designated mooring slips. This will be an increase for an additional 16 mooring slips. 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.
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 1.6 acres of unconsolidated soft bottom within a man-made basin area. This area may be utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. However, with the existing boat ramps and associated activity this may be limited. There are seagrasses located along the western boundary to the basin but are not within the proposed project limits, will not be impacted by the proposed project and temporary signage will be used to alert boaters of the seagrasses during the project construction. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Sarasota Bay. 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 4,120 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.
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 Drive, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33610-8302 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, Peter Romano, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Drive, Suite 120, Tampa FL 33610-8302; by electronic mail at Peter.T.Romano@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (813)769-7061; or, by telephone at (813)769-7072.
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 has been granted through the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), Environmental Resource – Individual Construction Permit No. 43009224.005 dated 23 December 2022.
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.