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.

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SAJ-2011-01178 (SP-JRP)

Jacksonville District
Published June 12, 2023
Expiration date: 7/5/2023

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 as described below:

APPLICANT:  Commanders Shellfish Camp LLC

                        c/o Mr. Michael Sullivan

                        1420 1st Street South

                         Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States wetlands (salt marsh and mangrove wetlands) associated with the Matanzas River.  The project site is located at 7579 A1A South (State Tax Parcel ID 1855400265), in Section 2, Township 9 South, Range 30 East, St. Augustine, Flagler County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows:  From Jacksonville, take FL-10 East to I-95 South.  Follow I-95 South, then take Exit 305 to I FL-206 East.  Turn right onto A1A South to the site.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:         Latitude       29.750111°

                                                                                 Longitude -81.247028°


Basic:  The basic project purpose is vehicular parking.

Overall:  The overall project purpose is to construct a parking lot adjacent to an existing restaurant located at 7579 A1A South, St. Augustine, Florida.


Existing Conditions:  The subject property is approximately 2.82 acres with 0.95 acres of wetlands that were historically characterized as saltwater marshes (FLUCFCS Code 642). These degraded estuarine wetlands have development on either side, as well as extensive invasive Brazilian pepper plants in the surrounding uplands. Vegetation observed in this community consisted of needlerush (Juncus roemerianus), cordgrasses (Spartina sp.), saltwort (Batis maritima), and salt jointgrass (Paspalum vaginatum).  Currently, the onsite wetlands consist of an estuarian intertidal system that connects to the Intracoastal Waterway (Matanzas River).  The project site is a commercial operation used for aquaculture, public education, docking that may be utilized for repeat use vessels (e.g., tour boats, sports fishermen, etc.), and a restaurant on the uplands.

Project History (previous permits):

The project site is associated with a prior Corps authorization dated August 15, 2011 for the construction of a private, single-family dock consisting of a 4-foot by 167-foot access pier, a 19.6-foot by 30.6-foot roofed terminal platform with a single boat slip, and a 16.6-foot by 12-foot terminal platform on the north side.

On November 10, 2015, the permit was transferred from Longlot, LLC. to Michael J. Sullivan.

On November 16, 2021, a preapplication request was submitted  for review of an observational pier (SAJ-2021-03871) .  On January 17, 2022, the agent requested that the preapplication be withdrawn while in order to make project design changes.

On March 23, 2022, an application to replace the existing dock structure with a new dock, boat slips, finger piers, and elevated walkways with viewing platforms and a ramp was submitted to the Corps for review.  On September 28, 2022, the application was withdrawn for lack of applicant response.

On November 23, 2022, the application to replace the existing dock structure with a new dock, boat slips, finger piers, and elevated walkways with viewing platforms and a ramp was re-submitted to the Corps for review. This application is currently under review as a Letter of Permission.

State Permit History:

On January 12, 2010, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) under SJRWMD site number 16-109-122185-1 issued a formal wetland determination. ‘

On March 1, 2011, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) conducted an Informal Delineation of Wetlands and Surface Waters at the subject property under FDEP site number 55-034853-001-FD.

On April 21, 2011, the FDEP issued a general permit under FDEP Site number 55-0304853-002-EG to construct a dock consisting of a 5-foot by 177-foot access pier, a 12-foot by 16.6-foot terminal platform, and a 19.6-foot by 30.6-foot boathouse totaling 1,623.96 square feet.

 On May 8, 2020, a Self-Certification issued under FDEP site number 55-0387642-001-EG and SJRWMD site number 162391-1 for a stormwater management system in uplands serving less than 10 acres of total project area and less then 2 acres of impervious surfaces.

On July 14, 2022, an application to replace the existing dock structure with a new dock, boat slips, finger piers, and elevated walkways with viewing platforms and a ramp was submitted to the SJRWMD and is currently under review.

Soils: According to the Soil Survey of St. Johns County, Florida, prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), two (2) soil types occur within the site boundaries (Figure 4). These soil types include the following:

Myakka fine sand, depressional, < 1 percent slopes (#4) is a nearly level, very poorly drained sandy soil that is in shallow depressions in the flatwoods. This soil is covered with 4 inches to 2 feet of standing water for 6 to 9 months during most years. Available water capacity is very low and permeability is rapid. Potential for community development is low because water stands on the surface of the soil for long periods during the wet season.

Pottsburg fine sand, 0 to 2 percent slopes (#40) is a poorly drained, nearly level soil in the flatwoods formed in deep sandy marine sediments. The water table is at a depth of less than 10 inches for 2 to 4 months in most years during wet season, is at a depth of 10 to 40 inches for about 8 months in most years, and recedes to a depth of more than 40 inches during long dry periods. Available water capacity is very low and permeability is rapid. Potential for community development is medium, and the soil is severely limited for urban uses because of a seasonal high-water table that is at or near the surface during rainy seasons.

The Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists considers the main components of the following soil types associated with the site to be hydric; Myakka fine sand, depressional, < 1 percent slopes (#4) and Pottsburg fine sand, 0 to 2 percent slopes (#40). This information can be found in the Hydric Soils of Florida Handbook, Fourth Edition, March 2007.

f. Vegetative Community Types:  The subject property contains approximately 1.87 acres of uplands characterized by the following FLUCFCS Codes: Commercial and Services (140), Shrub and Bushland (320), saltwater marshes (FLUCFCS Code 642), and Brazilian Pepper (422). The east side of the project site consists of an area used for parking with exposed dirt and a few scattered patches of bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). The Shrub and Bushland vegetation includes yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia), and wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). These areas have been heavily impacted by the encroachment of Brazilian pepper. The upland communities located just above the wetland line. The vegetation within this community is composed entirely of Brazilian pepper. Brazilian pepper is non-native to Florida and is an aggressive invader. The Brazilian pepper at this site has taken over native vegetation.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material into 0.10 acres of saltwater wetlands (salt marsh and Brazillian pepper) to facilitate a parking lot for patrons of the onsite restaurant.  

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:

Proposed wetland impacts have been avoided and minimized to the maximum extent practicable.  The parking lot is proposed to be constructed to impact the least amount of wetlands onsite.  Best management practices, such as silt fencing, would be utilized prior to and during construction activities to minimize secondary impacts.

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

The existing wetlands contain numerous patches of Brazilian pepper which are likely to continue to encroach into the wetlands over time. All Brazilian pepper will be mechanically removed by pulling the tree by the trunk directly from the ground. Mechanical removal is the only option as the subject property is adjacent to both Class II shellfish waters and an active shellfish aquaculture facility and the use of herbicide would compromise the quality and safety of those operations. To prevent unnecessary rutting or compaction of wetland soils during Brazilian pepper removal, a long-boom excavator which can access the targeted trees from the uplands will be implemented. Where machinery must be brought into wetlands, low ground impact equipment of the smallest size feasible will be used and ground protection mats will be placed in the path of the equipment. Should any incidental rutting or compaction occur, the area will be hand graded to an elevation consistent with adjacent elevations and allowed to revegetate. During tree removal, as much soil will be removed from the roots as possible; however, a slight depression of 4-10” will remain. All depressions will be planted with minimum 3-gallon white (Laguncularia racemosa), red (Rhizophora mangle), and/or black (Avicennia germinans) mangroves at a minimum spacing of 6’ on center (approximately 63 trees).  All wetland enhancement areas will be preserved under a conservation easement and a management plan will be implemented to prevent the re-establishment of any nuisance or exotic species.

Upland Preservation

All upland areas will be preserved under the same conservation easements and maintained under the same management plan as the proposed wetland mitigation areas. These uplands will provide nesting, denning, and foraging opportunities for those species which require upland resources for some or all of their life cycle.

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.


Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana):  The project site is approximately 9 miles from the Jacksonville Zoo Wood Stork Colony; and, within the Core Foraging Area of this colony, therefore, the Corps evaluated potential effects to this species.  In consideration of this information, the Corps utilized The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008, to determine potential effects upon this species.  Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) previously indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the key for Wood Storks; and, that no additional consultation is necessary. 

Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): The proposed work is connected to an upland area; therefore, potential impacts to the eastern indigo snake were evaluated using Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Determination Key 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-D-may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, as the applicant has agreed to implement the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake, August 12, 2013.  The FWS has indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the key for eastern indigo snakes; and, that no additional consultation is necessary.

The project site is within a consultation area identified by the Corps and the FWS for the Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). Therefore, this species may utilize the project site.  There is no designated critical habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay listed in the federal register (52 FR 20715-20719).  However, information from the FWS indicates that the Florida Scrub Jay has extremely specific habitat requirements.  It is endemic to peninsular Florida’s ancient dune ecosystem or scrubs, which occur on well drained to excessively well drained sandy soils.  Relict oak-dominated scrub, or xeric oak scrub, is essential habitat to the Florida Scrub Jay.  Optimal habitat incorporates four species of stunted, low growing oaks [sand live oak (Quercus geminata), Chapman oak (Quercus chapmanii), myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia), and scrub oak (Quercus inopina)] that are 1-3 meters high, interspersed with 10 to 50 percent non-vegetated sandy openings, with a sand pine (Pinus clausa) canopy of less than 20 percent.  In consideration of the lack of appropriate habitat at the site, the local abundance of foraging habitat, and the distance to the nearest colony, the Corps determined that the project would have no effect upon this species.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH):  This notice initiates consultation on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996.  The project site location does not have EFH.  Our initiation determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries within the Intracoastal Waterway.  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 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 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 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, Janice Price, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232,; by electronic mail at, by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1904; or, by telephone at (904) 570-4542. 

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.

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 may be required from the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 122185-2.

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.