Public Notice Notifications

The Jacksonville District currently has five categories of public notice notification mailing lists. If you wish to receive email notifications when new public notices are added to this page, please send a request to Regulatory Webmaster.  Each category is described below. Be sure to specify which list(s) you want to be included on.

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.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.


U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published March 31, 2023
Expiration date: 4/21/2023

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:

APPLICANT: Lee County Division of Natural Resources

                      c/o Steve Boutelle

                     1500 Monroe Street

                     Fort Myers, Florida 33901                     

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Gulf of Mexico. The project site is located within the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 4 nautical miles west of Big Carlos Pass, in Section 3, Township 47 South, Range 24 East, Fort Myers Beach, Lee County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: The reef site would be located approximately four (4) nautical miles, bearing 250°, from Big Carlos Pass, Fort Myers Beach, Lee County, Florida.


Latitude: 26.379733°

Longitude: -81.961383°






Northwest Corner




Northeast Corner




Southwest Corner




Southeast Corner



PROJECT PURPOSE: Basic:  Marine habitat enhancement. Overall:  Construct a new artificial reef site in order to enhance the marine habitat in the offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico, west of Big Carlos Pass, Fort Myers Beach, Lee County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a saltwater system within the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The substrate is made up of a sandy bottom and is located approximately 25 feet deep from the waters’ surface. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to construct a 0.25 nautical mile by 0.25 nautical mile (40-acre) artificial reef comprised of pre-cast concrete structures, fabricated concrete reef modules, natural rock or limestone boulders, clean heavy gauge scrap steel and concrete bridge or demolition materials with all steel reinforcement rods cut at base. All reef materials will be clean and free from asphalt, petroleum, other hydrocarbons and toxic substances. In addition, and prior to reef deployment, the applicant would remove any loose debris from the bottom consisting of SCUBA divers and/or underwater drones working along a transect and/or roaming to first visually identify the size and location of the debris. Due to the location of the proposed reef, we anticipate that the majority of the debris would be abandoned fishing gear and lost anchors. The fishing gear (cast nets, monofilament, braid, swivels, lures etc) and all other debris, would be carefully cut away from the structure into smaller pieces. This is in attempt to not cause any harm to the marine organisms located on the structure and to make the debris small enough to handle underwater and dispose of more easily. Anchors will be attached to lift bags and sent to the surface for retrieval. If debris is identified, but too large or too encrusted with living organisms to safely remove, it shall be dismantled (removed) as much as practicable to ensure that it cannot do any harm to marine life through accidental entrapment or entanglement.

DEPTH, PROFILE AND CLEARANCE:  The depth at the proposed site is approximately -25’ relative to Mean Lower-Low Water (MLLW), the height of reef material off the seafloor will not extend greater than 10’ in height, leaving at least 15’ of clearance from the surface level. This amount of clearance is greater than or equal to other artificial reefs in the area (Causeway Reef 14-foot clearance, G-H Reef 14-foot clearance, Doc Kline Reef 15-foot clearance).

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:

Any impacts from the proposed project are anticipated to be positive by creating new habitat for feeding, refuge, and reproduction of many marine organisms. The recruitment of filter feeding organisms such as oysters, clams, and barnacles could help to improve water quality. Surveys of the sea floor conducted by scuba divers prior to the deployment of reef material will ensure no impacts to natural resources, no SAV, hard/soft corals or live bottom. All reef materials will be clean and free from asphalt, petroleum, other hydrocarbons and toxic substances. All reef materials will be selected, designed, constructed, or modified to create stable and durable marine habitat that will not be an entanglement hazard. Individual artificial reef materials shall weigh a minimum of 500 pounds.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: There are no adverse impacts associated with the project. The project is for long-term enhancement of local fishery resources, habitat, and scientific study. Therefore, there is no mitigation required.

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 (MANLAA) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). No designated critical habitat is present in the proposed project area.

The Corps has made the determination of MANLAA for the West Indian manatee. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 (Manatee Key). Use of the Manatee Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B>C>G>N>O>P>5 MANLAA, with no further consultation necessary. This determination is based on the applicant following the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011 for the proposed activity.

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 53 acres of sandy substrate utilized by various life stages of benthic and pelagic species. 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 3.8 miles away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel.  The applicant has provided the following additional information with regards to navigation: “The proposed artificial reef will not be a hazard to navigation. Depth of water at the site is 25’Mean Low Water (MLW), the height of reef material off the seafloor will not extend greater than 10’ leaving at least 15’ of clearance at MLW. This amount of clearance is greater than or equal to other artificial reefs in the area (Causeway Reef 14’, G-H Reef 14’, Doc Kline Reef 15’). While the reef is being constructed, clearance will be verified. Data will be provided to NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey/Marine Chart Division/Nautical Data Branch for inclusion in navigational charts. The proposed artificial reef site is outside of safety fairways, shrimp trawling grounds, anchorage areas, and navigation channels. The local shrimping fleet gains access from their docks to the Gulf of Mexico through Matanzas Pass, a federal channel located on the North end of Ft. Myers Beach. The controlling depth of Matanzas Pass is 12’. Therefore, leaving at least 15’ of clearance at the proposed artificial reef site will not impede navigation. While shrimp boats may transit over or nearby the proposed site, they do not trawl at this location and the new reef site will be properly charted by NOAA”.

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 Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL 33919 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, Michelle Gilbert, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL 33919; by electronic mail at; or, by telephone at (239) 334-1975 x0006. 

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: WQC is 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.  

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.