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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Published Oct. 4, 2023
Expiration date: 11/5/2023
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) 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: Eric Simonton, YHUSVI Marina, LLC

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would occur at the Yacht Haven Grande Marina and would affect waters of the United States in Long Bay, St. Thomas Harbor, located at Kings Quarter, Charlotte Amalie, on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

Directions to the site are as follows: Take Veteran's Drive east from the town of Charlotte Amalie. Yacht Haven Grande Marina is located on the southside of the roadway just before the Havensight Cruise Ship Dock.


Latitude: 18.336028
Longitude: -64.921955


Basic: Improve access for vessels.
Overall: Ensure safe navigation and moorage for all vessels that utilize the Yacht Haven Grande Marina.


The applicant is proposing to dredge 28,730 cubic yards (cy) of material from three areas totaling 9.52 acres within the Yacht Haven Grande Marina. Area 1, which is furthest east and closest to the Havensight cruise ship berth, contains 3.04 acres from which 10,130 cy would be dredged to -25 feet (ft). Area 2, which is located inside the eastern dock, contains 1.68 acres from which 2,310 cy would be dredged to -16 ft. Area 3, which is located west of Areas 1 and 2, contains 4.8 acres from which 16,290 cy would be dredged to -18 ft.

Dredging would be accomplished utilizing a barge mounted clamshell and de-watered on a dredge spoil barge. The dredged spoils would be disposed in the Virgin Islands Port Authority dredge spoils disposal area in St. Croix which is an old quarry below grade and not subject to runoff. A tug would assist with relocation and a crew boat would be used to transfer crew, work on the turbidity barriers, and conduct monitoring. The barge would spud down within areas which have been dredged or are proposed to be dredged. The barge will not spud down in areas outside of the dredge limits. The tug and crew boat would tie to one of the barges and would not anchor.


The Yacht Haven Grande Marina is a 40-acre marina located in Long Bay, which is part of St. Thomas Harbor. St. Thomas Harbor was the main port of the Virgin Islands Archipelago in the late 1600s and has remained an important port since. The project is within an area which was previously dredged and has been subject to marine activity prior to the 2003 permitting of the facility. Over the last thirty years, there has continued to be heavy marine use and periodic dredging of the local waterways. There has been continued development of upland areas and increasing sedimentation and erosion into the harbor. Water quality is affected by nutrients and bacteria from upland runoff. The seabed in the areas to be dredged is covered by fine silty material that is easily resuspended.

Benthic habitat surveys were conducted in September 2022 by Bioimpact, Inc. There are no native seagrasses within the dredge footprint. The surveyed dredge areas are soft bottom previously dredged habitats colonized primarily by unconsolidated sediments and submerged vegetation. Unconsolidated sediments cover approximately 2.05 acres (21.5%) of the seafloor of the total dredge area. The unconsolidated sediments found within the dredge areas are made up of sand and bivalve shells with less than 10% algal coverage. Unconsolidated sediments were found around and under Yacht Haven Grande Marina’s pier pilings. Submerged vegetation covers approximately 7.47 acres (78.5%) of the seafloor of the total dredge area. Submerged vegetation types include the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea (90 - >100% cover), macroalgae (90 - >100% cover), and patchy macroalgae (50 - >90% cover). No colonization of either Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass) or Syringodium filiforme (eel grass) was seen in the survey area. Pier pilings provide vertical hardbottom habitat within the surveyed area. Pilings were colonized primarily by various sponge and algal species. There is also colonization by tube worms and bivalves on dock pilings.

Nine corals from three different species were identified within the dredge footprint on marine debris, piles, and small rocks. Six Siderastrea siderea, two Stephanocoenia intersepta, and one Phyllangia americana colony were documented. The corals range in size from 3 to 42 centimeters. No federally endangered corals were found within the survey area.

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 will implement the plan titled Environmental and Water Quality Dredging, Yacht Haven Grande Marina, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Water quality monitoring will be undertaken throughout all dredging, dewatering, and transport activities. The plan includes the following:
Turbidity control measures will be employed during all parts of the project in order to avoid impacts to aquatic organisms.
The monitor will watch for the effectiveness of the siltation control devices and will request additional controls or slowing dredge operations if turbidity rises above acceptable levels.
Two layers of turbidity barriers will be placed around the point of discharge from the barge.
The applicant will comply with the Protected Species Construction Conditions and the Vessel Strike Avoidance Measures from the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office as well as manatee conservation measures to ensure threatened and endangered species are not impacted.
All work will be conducted from land-based or barge mounted equipment.
Barges will not anchor and will only spud within areas being dredged. Spud holes will be filled immediately upon completion of dredge activities.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: To offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment the applicant will implement the Mitigation Plan for Modification of CZT-5-03(W) Dredging, Yacht Haven Grande Marina, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The plan details measures to mitigate impacts to 9 corals that are in the footprint of the dredge sites by relocating them to nearby habitat where they will not be impacted by direct or indirect effects of the dredge activities.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: There are no known historic properties within the footprint of the marina. The Corps invites comments, including those from USVI and Federal government agencies, with respect to historic resources. The Corps will consult with the USVI State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Our determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to additional coordination with the SHPO.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Threatened or endangered sea turtle species occurring in the area include the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtles, oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), queen conch (Strombus gigas), and giant manta ray (Manta birostris). In addition, the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) and listed whales, although incredibly rare in the USVI, could also traverse through the action area between St. Thomas and St. Croix. Due to the applicant’s willingness to implement conservation measures, the Corps has determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect these species. There are no listed corals or coral critical habitat in the project footprint. The project will have no effect on designated or proposed critical habitat for any listed species. Through separate processes, the Corps will request consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, Habitat Conservation Division on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996. The proposal would impact approximately 9.52 acres of the St. Thomas Harbor that could be utilized by various life stages of corals, queen conch, spiny lobster, reef fish, blacktip shark, white marlin, tiger shark, swordfish, sailfish, oceanic whitetip shark, lemon shark, nurse shark, Caribbean reef shark, and blue marlin. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries within St. Thomas Harbor. 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.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: Water Quality Certification is required. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection is evaluating this project for compliance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: The applicant submitted an application to the USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Coastal Zone Management, who will evaluate it for consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Plan. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

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.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, 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. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed. 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.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; 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.

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.

COMMENTS: Comment regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer via Karen Urelius of the Antilles Permits Section. You may submit the comments electronically to, which is the preferred method. Alternatively, you may mail comments to the address in the letterhead. All comments must be received or postmarked within 30 days from the date of this notice.

QUESTIONS: Questions concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Karen Urelius, by electronic mail at or, by telephone at (787) 370-8359.