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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: South Basin Development Corp.
c/o James Vernon
1000 Market Street, Unit 300
Portsmouth, NH 03801
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project will affect waters of the United States associated with the Gulf of Mexico. The project site is a pier shaped barrier structure located between the Opal Key Marina basin and the Key West U.S. Navy basin, both directly connected to the Gulf; in Section 06, Township 68 South, Range 25 East, Key West, Monroe County, Florida 33040 (RE# 00000200-000206).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Miami, take U.S. 1 south to Key West, take N. Roosevelt Blvd to Palm Ave Causeway. Continue on Palm Avenue as it transitions to Eaton Street. Turn right onto Whitehead Street to the Opal Key (See enclosed Vicinity Map & Coordinates).
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 24.556028°
Basic: The basic project purpose is to repair and rehabilitate an existing deteriorated pier shape barrier structure.
marina Overall: The overall project purpose is to rehabilitate an existing deteriorated finger pier shaped barrier structure that serves as a barrier to prevents civilian vessels from entering restricted waters of the Navy, in Key West, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is located between two basins tributaries to the Gulf in Key West, Monroe County Florida. The structure proposed for repair has been in place since 1994, according to historical google earth imageries. The existing steel barrier structure sits between the Opal Key Marina and the US Navy basin in Key West Harbor. The structure serves exclusively as a barrier, No mooring of any vessels is allowed. No access to pedestrian is allowed onto the structure. The structure is required by the Navy to separate public from Navy restricted waters. The seafloor within the project area has been identified as mud, sand and loose rubble. No seagrass or hardbottom habitat has been identified on the initial submittal.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to repair and rehabilitate an existing 361 linear foot long (1,083-square foot) barrier pier with associated sheet piles through the removal of the deteriorated steel panel components of the structure and the installation of new precast panels, cast-in-place concrete beams, and the installation of new H-piles to be driven within the existing forty-eight (48) 36” diameter steel pipe piles. The restore structure will maintain a length of 361’ long and will cover an area of 1,444-square feet over U.S. waters. Temporarily turbidity curtains will be deployed and will remain in place for the duration of all in-water activities, in/over waters of the United States. Work is in/over U.S. waters. The project is further described in the enclosed project exhibits (Sheets 1-5). navigable
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:
Turbidity curtains will be deployed as a precaution to isolate the construction site from ambient waters. These will remain in place until construction is complete. Furthermore, the applicant has provided the enclosed best management practices (BMPs) to be implemented as to avoid and minimize impacts to the aquatic environment.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant is not proposing mitigation because they are not proposing any dredge or fill of surface waters and all water impacts are temporary, waters will be restored to pre-disturbance following completion of the activity. Furthermore, the proposed activities should result in net increases in aquatic resource functions and services.
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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and would not adversely modify its designated critical habitat. Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered West Indian manatee were evaluated using Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 (Key). Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-G -N-O-P (5) “may affect, not likely to adversely affect”, where no further consultation with the Service is necessary. This determination is based on the applicant following the standard Manatee construction conditions for the proposed activity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has given concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. No further coordination with the FWS is required.
The project is located within American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) consultation area. According to the October 28, 2014, American Crocodile Key, the property does not support suitable nesting habitat for the crocodile. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence #2 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. Therefore, the Corps has reached a “may affect not likely to adversely affect” determination on the American crocodile and its suitable nesting habitat.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the Swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), kemps ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), Giant Manta ray (Manta birostris), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat, and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox) species. A no effect determination was reached on smalltooth sawfish critical habitat. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these determinations 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 1,444-square feet of submerged sea bottom utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 Keys Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida, 33176, within 30 days from the date of this notice (i.e. on or before December 28th, 2023).
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, Gletys Guardia-Montoya at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at Gletys.Guardia-Montoya@usace.army.mil or by telephone at 305-526-2515.
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 (WQC) is required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 44-0166677-002.
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.