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: Sunseeker Florida, Inc
c/o John Redmond
1251 Center Crossing Road, Building 10
Las Vegas, NV 89144
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Charlotte Harbor. The project site is located at 4949 Tamiami Trail in Section 36, Township 40 South, Range 22 East, Port Charlotte, Charlotte County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 75, take Exit 167 west for Harbor View Road and travel approximately 3.3 miles. Turn left on to Tamiami Trail to travel south for approximately 0.75 miles. The project site is on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
PROJECT PURPOSE: Basic: Construction of a commercial marina.
Overall: Construction of a commercial marina to support an existing upland mixed-use and commercial development in west central Charlotte County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The conditions at the project site consist of an open water, estuarine system. The uplands have been developed and improved to support a public marina, including a resort, restaurants, and a seawall to armor the upland shoreline. There is approximately 2.79 acres of shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) present in the project vicinity. No other vegetation is present at the project site. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of Tamiami Trail (U.S. Highway 41) to the north, the Barron Collier Bridge to the southeast, commercial properties to the northwest, residential properties to the west, and Charlotte Harbor to the south.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a 182 slip, 58,865 square foot floating dock marina facility with an estimated 126 steel pipe piles and 80 wood fender piles. A 2.2 acre fixed, rubble breakwater is proposed to be installed to the south of the marina facility, resulting in the discharge of approximately 22,923 cubic yards of sand/rock material. Approximately 117,200 cubic yards of material is proposed to be mechanically dredged for the marina area and entrance channel. The material will be stored in the uplands to be used for the breakwater or disposed of at a dedicated upland facility.
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 project has been designed in a manner which reduces impacts to the greatest extent practicable while still achieving goals of providing boat access facilities. Best management practices such as turbidity curtains and tidal timing of operations will minimize the potential for environmental impacts. The contractor will install and maintain a turbidity curtain around the project area during in-water work with the potential to create turbidity. Turbidity will be monitored in accordance with standard water quality compliance criteria/permit conditions.
The project has also been redesigned to remove any direct impacts to seagrasses at the project site and to remove the proposed construction of a beach, resulting the in the removal of the discharge of 4,715 cubic yards of fill over 1.2 acres from the project plan.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: The project will not impact special aquatic sites and has been designed to avoid impacts to seagrasses. Compensatory mitigation is not warranted for the proposed project.
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), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), giant manta ray (Manta birostris) and smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) 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.
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 2.2 acres of unconsolidated sand bottom from the installation of the breakwater and 20.7 acres of unconsolidated sand from the dredging utilized by various life stages of Penaeid Shrimp Complex, red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), reef fish (various spp.), stone crab (Menippe mercenaria), spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), migratory/pelagic fish (various spp.), snapper/grouper complex, and various shark species (i.e. tiger, bonnethead, blacktip, bull, and lemon). Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Charlotte Harbor estuary. 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 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 Fort Myers Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32207 within 30 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, Michael Ornella II, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32207; by electronic mail at Michael.Ornella@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (904)232-1498.
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 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.