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: Ernestas Vasiliauskas
2103 Ardley Rd.
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with a tidally influenced artificial canal connected to the Atlantic Ocean. The project site is located at 1155 Thatch Ln., in Section 33, Township 66 South, Range 28 East, Cudjoe Key, Monroe County, FL 33042; R/E parcel #00186480-000000.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Key Largo take US Hwy 1 South to MM23. Turn left onto Spanish Main Dr. in Cudjoe Key, right onto Puerto Bello Dr., left onto Thatch Ln. Property is 0.06 miles on left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.647535°
Basic: To construct a single-family residence with appurtenant structures, shoreline stabilization, and to provide boating access.
Overall: To construct a single-family residence, to provide shoreline stabilization and boating access in Cudjoe Key, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a saltwater system. The onsite vegetation consists of red mangroves, buttonwoods, and other wetland vegetation. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of a vacant land and residences along artificial canals connected to the Atlantic Ocean.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place 519 cubic yards of fill within a 7,016 square foot jurisdictional wetland area for the construction of a single-family residence with appurtenant structures (i.e. driveway, swale, riprap revetment, etc.), to construct a 280 square foot wood “T”-shaped dock with a 4 foot wide by 10 foot long access walkway leading to a 6 foot wide by 40 foot long terminal platform; to dredge 400 square feet (45 cubic yards) of mature red mangroves to -5.5 feet mean low water line to accommodate mooring area, to install temporary floating turbidity barriers around all work areas that are in/over U.S. navigable waters.
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:
The applicant has agreed to avoid 300 square feet of red mangrove fringe along the north end of the shoreline. Prior to the start of construction, turbidity curtains will be deployed to isolate the construction site from ambient waters. These will remain in place until all construction induced turbidity has subsided and water quality has returned to pre-construction conditions.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
If mitigation is required by the Army Corps of Engineers, the appropriate mitigation will be determined with a UMAM and payment made to Keys Restoration Fund. If mitigation is required by the D.E.P. they propose payment to the Everglades Mitigation Bank.
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: West Indian (Florida) manatee (Trichechus manatus): The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the West Indian manatee or its designated critical habitat. Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered manatee were evaluated using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (Manatee Key), dated 25 April 2013. Use of the Manatee Key resulted in the
following sequential determination: A > B > C > G >H> I > N >O>P4 “MANLAA.” This determination is partially based on the applicant following the standard manatee construction precautions for the proposed activity. The Corps has concurrence with this determination from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), pursuant to the Manatee Key.
American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus): The project is located within an 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 as the shoreline is densely vegetated. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence #2. Therefore, the Corps has reached a “may affect not likely to adversely affect” determination on the American crocodile and its suitable nesting habitat. No further consultation with the FWS is required for the American crocodile.
Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri): The real estate parcel number is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County for the Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit 500m Focus Area Buffer but is not listed as being within the species focus area.; however, the RAR lists the species with the RAR buffer area. As such, potential impacts to the Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit were evaluated using the Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit Species Key, dated 29 July 2013, and resulted in the following sequential determination: A3 “no effect”. No further consultation with the FWS is required.
Silver Rice Rat (Oryzomys palustris natator): The real estate parcel number is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County for the Silver Rice Rat 500m Focus Area Buffer but is not listed as being within the species focus area. As such, potential impacts to the Silver Rice Rat were evaluated using the Silver Rice Rat Assessment Guide, dated 29 July 2013, and resulted in the following sequential determination: A>E2>NLAA. The project will be conditioned on the applicant agreeing to complying with the enforceable cat restrictions.
Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): Since critical habitat has not been designated for the indigo snake, potential impacts to D. c. couperi were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key dated 1 August 2017 (Snake Key). Use of the key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D (1), “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA)” for the snake. This determination is partially based on the project being conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for The Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and project construction. Therefore, no incidental take will occur, and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
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), hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) species. A no effect determination was reached on Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat, loggerhead sea turtle and smalltooth sawfish critical habitat, and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request 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 proposal would impact approximately 0.014 acres of bottom utilized by various life stages of marine life. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florid3a 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 structure or activity is 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 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 Florida Keys Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176 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, Maria N. Hoidal, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Miami, FL 33176; by electronic mail at Maria.N.Hoidal@usace.army.mil; or by telephone at (786-920-7630).
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: A WQC is required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 341745-002-003-004 EE, Monroe County.
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.