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: Miami Marina Ventures, LLC
150 SE 2nd Ave Suite 800
Miami FL 33131
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Biscayne Bay. The project site is located at 1635 N Bayshore Dr Miami FL 33131 (Folio: 01-3231-036-0022).
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95, east on I-393, north on US-1, go east on NE 15th St, then north on Bayshore Drive.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Longitude : -80.185444°
Basic: The basic project is for improved water access.
Overall: The overall project purpose to is to improve water access at an existing facility known as Venetian Marina in Miami-Dade County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project consists of an existing 222-slip marine along 770 linear feet of bulkhead within an area of 358,682 square feet. The existing docks consist of 40,872 square feet of concrete docks with 297 pilings. A resource survey conducted on June 12, 2023 included submerged aquatic vegetation on a sandy silt substrate such as Thalassia testudimum (1%), Halodule wrightii (1-20%), Halophila engelmannii (1-5%), and Halophila decipens (1-40%) throughout the proposed project area. No federal corals were observed.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks to improve water access by conducting the following activities:
• Remove existing 40,872 square feet of existing concrete dock and 297 pilings in an existing 222 slip marina;
• Reconfigure and install approximately 112,410 square feet of floating docks with new (405) concrete pilings within an expanded area of 755,460 square feet.
Turbidity curtains will be installed around the project footprint.
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 proposes to replace the existing marina as it is in a deteriorated state and in need of major repairs and upgrades. The original design from the 1980s is functionally obsolete and must be reconfigured in order to serve the demands of the marine industry. The applicant is proposing to remove the existing facilities, reconfigure the finger piers to accommodate larger vessels, and renovate the ship store located on the middle finger pier. The proposed marina footprint will expand farther into Biscayne Bay, but the over-water dock footprint will be minimized, and the total number of boat slips will remain at 222, which is currently authorized by the regulatory agencies.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The floating dock design considered the location of the seagrass, water depths, and floating dock width to maximize the amount of light transmittance. Partial shading from the docks is not anticipated to impact seagrass. In addition, periodic fluctuations of density and/or coverage area are expected due to the nature that the vegetative communities exhibit. Seagrass recruitment is expected to occur within the project footprint given the existing conditions of the area, the existence of seagrass within the fairways of the existing marina, and the variable nature of submerged aquatic vegetation.
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered manatee were evaluated using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (Manatee Key), dated 25 April 2013. Use of the Manatee Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G > N > O>P “MANLAA.” This determination is partially based on the applicant following the standard manatee construction precautions for the proposed activity. The Corps has concurrence with this determination from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), pursuant to the Manatee Key.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), Giant Manta Ray (Mobula birostris) or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will request initiation of informal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
In addition, the proposed activity is located within the Consultation Area for the Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus) and the South Florida Urban Area. While the project is located within the Bat consultation area, the parcel lacks suitable roosting or foraging habitat. The shoreline at the project is stabilized by a seawall in a highly urbanized area. Based the lack of suitable roosting habitats at the site, the Corps has determined that the project will have no effect on the species.
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 0.69 acres of submerged aquatic vegetation utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, sea turtles and snapper/grouper complex. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. 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 262 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 28 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Ave #203, Miami Fl ; by electronic mail at email@example.com ; by fax at (305) 526-7184, or, by telephone at (305)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. 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). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 13-0165663-008-EI.
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.