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: Matheson Hammock Park
Miami-Dade County Parks
275 NW 2nd St
Miami, FL 33126
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located adjacent to Biscayne Bay at 9610 Old Cutler Road, in Section 5/6, Township 55 south, Range 41 East, Coral Gables FL 33156 (Folio Nos 03-5106-000-0010, 03-5106-000-0050, 03-5105-001-0010, and 03-5105-000-0010).
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 South to US1 South. Turn left onto Rosaro Avenue, turn right onto SW 42nd Ave/S Le Jeune Road. At traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Old Cutler Rd.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project is for passive recreation.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to install new elevated boardwalk to combat sea level rise, install an ADA concrete access ramp to connect elevated walkway on either end to replace degrading asphalt walkway through Matheson Hammock Park.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The property contains an existing 5,000 linear foot asphalt boardwalk within a Mangrove wetland. Habitat consist of Red Mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) with sporadic non-desirable species.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to improve passive recreation by:
• Removal of approximately 0.95-miles (approximately 5,000 linear feet) of asphalt boardwalk;
• Construct a new elevated (+5.5 feet NGVD) wooden boardwalk with handrail, following the existing asphalt pathway, with approximately 984 new 12 inch concrete piles. The boardwalk will be 5 feet wide with sporadic 12 foot long by 3 foot wide bump outs for seating; and
• Placement of a pervious concrete transition ramp to connect boardwalk to parking lot.
The proposed impacts would result in 11 square feet of impacts to Red Mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) wetlands.
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:
Placement of piles will be within the footprint of the original asphalt boardwalk. The boardwalk will also include a pervious concrete transition ramp on either end. During construction, sediment erosion control devices will be installed to prevent impacts to the adjacent wetlands. All construction staging will be located in an approved upland location.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The proposed boardwalk is being constructed generally following the existing asphalt boardwalk with minimal expansion into the adjacent wetlands. Avoidance and minimization were considered for the pile location, designed to be placed within the footprint of the original boardwalk. Minimal unavoidable wetland impacts (11 square feet) by placement of the concrete transition ramp will improve connectivity between the wetland communities on either side of the trail.
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 Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) or its designated critical habitat. 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.
The proposed activity is located within the Consultation Area for the Florida Bonneted Bat and the South Florida Urban Area. Potential impacts to the species were assessed using the Florida Bonneted Bat Consultation Key, 2019. Based on the guidelines in the key, projects located in the South Florida Urban Bat Area cannot utilize the key. Based the lack of roosting or foraging habitat in the project area and limited impacts the Corps has determined that the project will have no effect on the species.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat on all other listed 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 proposal would impact approximately 0.95 acres of Mangrove wetlands utilized by various life stages of crustaceans. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries within the Biscayne Bay Card Sound. 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 > 500 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. 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 Antilles-Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Ave, Suite #203, Miami FL 33176 within 15 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, Catrina Frey, in writing at the Antilles-Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Ave, Suite #203, Miami FL 33176; by electronic mail at Catrina.firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (305)526-7184; or, by telephone at (786)484-7406.
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 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.