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PN15-04 (Town of Ocean City-64th Street Boat Ramp)

Posted: 1/16/2015

Expiration date: 2/16/2015


THE PURPOSE OF THIS PUBLIC NOTICE IS TO SOLICIT COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE WORK DESCRIBED BELOW.  AT THIS TIME, NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT A PERMIT WILL BE ISSUED.

The Baltimore District has received an application for a Department of the Army (DA) permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), as described below:

 

APPLICANT: Town of Ocean City

                        C/o Terence J. McGean, P.E.

                        PO Box 158

                        Ocean City, Maryland 21842

           

 LOCATION:  In the Assawoman Bay at the terminus of 64th Street and Seabay Drive in Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland.

WORK:  To construct a new 40-foot wide by 63.5-foot long double lane concrete boat ramp with two 63.5 linear foot wing walls and a 40-foot long toe wall at the channelward end of the proposed boat ramp, all to extend a maximum of 45 feet channelward of the mean high water shoreline (MHW); to install an 8-foot wide by 111-foot long floating concrete pier in the center of the proposed boat ramp to extend a maximum of 70 feet channelward of the MHW shoreline; to construct two 48-foot long timber jetties connected to the channelward end of the proposed wing walls to extend a maximum of 90 feet channelward of the MHW shoreline; to install two “Slow No Wake” signs, one on a guide pile at the channelward end of the proposed boat ramp and one 125 feet channelward of the MHW shoreline at the entrance to the canal; and to dredge a 40 to 73-foot wide by 1,760-foot long (2.12 acre) channel to a depth of -3 feet at mean low water level, all to extend a maximum of 280 feet channelward of the approximate MHW shoreline. The dredging would result in a total of approximately 2,950 cubic yards of dredged material that would be deposited at an upland site at the Ocean City Airport or another site approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment. The applicant also requests 10 year maintenance dredging.  All work is to be completed in accordance with the proposed plan(s).  If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Ms. Laura Shively of this office at (410) 962-6011 or via email at laura.shively@usace.army.mil.

The excavation and fill associated with the construction of the new boat ramp would result in approximately 1,265 square feet of permanent impacts to tidal wetlands.

The purpose of the proposed project is to improve public navigable access.

As part of the planning process for the proposed project, steps were taken to ensure avoidance and minimization of impacts to aquatic resources to the maximum extent practicable.  The project as proposed would not impact any SAV and would impact approximately 1,265 square feet of tidal wetlands. The applicant has proposed to excavate a 1,265 square foot area to a depth of 12 inches, to fill the area with 50 cubic yards of clean, sand fill and to plant the area with Spartina patens.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA), as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 04-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the NMFS on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).

The project site lies in or adjacent to EFH as described under MSFCMA for Pleuronectes americanus (winter flounder), Scopthalmus aquosos (windowpane flounder), Pomatomus saltatrix (blue fish), Stenotomus chrysops (scup), Centropristus striata (black sea bass), and Paralicthys dentatus (summer flounder) juvenile and adult; Urophycis chuss (red hake) eggs, larvae, and juvenile;  Peprilus triacanthus  (Atlantic butterfish) and Sphyrna lewini (scalloped hammerhead shark) juvenile;  Clupea harengus (Atlantic sea herring) and Prionance glauca (blue shark) adult; Odontaspis taurus (sand tiger shark) larvae and adult; Squatina dumerili (Atlantic angel shark) and  Charcharinus plumbeus (sandbar shark) larvae, juvenile, and adult; Charcharinus obscurus (dusky shark) and Galeocerdo cuvieri (tiger shark) larvae; and eggs, larvae, juvenile, and adult stages of Scomberomorus cavalla (king mackerel), Scomberomorus maculatus (spanish mackerel), and Rachycentron canadum (cobia), all managed species under the MSFCMA.

The project does not comprise the potential to adversely affect EFH or the species of concern by the alteration of spawning, nursery, forage and/or shelter habitat. The project may have an adverse effect on an approximate 2.17-acre area of EFH as described under the MSFCMA for the species and life stages identified above. 

The Baltimore District has made a preliminary determination that site-specific impacts would not be substantial and an abbreviated consultation will be conducted with NMFS. No mitigative measures are recommended at this time to minimize adverse effects on EFH.  This preliminary determination may be modified if additional information indicates otherwise and could change the Corps’ preliminary determination.

The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, 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 benefit, which reasonable 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 the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economic, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, and consideration of property ownership and in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

The Corps of Engineers 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 of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.

Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments provided will become part of the public record for this action. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. Written comments concerning the work described above related to the factors listed above or other pertinent factors must be received by the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, P.O. Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203 within the comment period specified above.

The applicant is required to obtain a water quality certification in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Maryland Department of the Environment.  Any written comments concerning the work described above which relate to water quality certification must be received by the Wetlands and Waterways Program, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.  The 401 certifying agency has a statutory limit of one year to make its decision. 

The applicant has certified in this application that the proposed activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the approved Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program.  By this public notice, we are requesting the State concurrence or objection to the applicant’s consistency statement.  It should be noted that the CZM Program has a statutory limit of 6 months to make its consistency determination.

The applicant must obtain any State or local government permits which may be required.

A preliminary review of this application indicates that the proposed work will not affect Federal listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat, pursuant to

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended.  As the evaluation of this application continues, additional information may become available which could modify this preliminary determination.

Review of the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places indicates that no registered properties listed as eligible for inclusion, therein, are located at the site
of the proposed work. Currently unknown archeological, scientific, prehistoric, or historical data may be lost or destroyed by the work to be accomplished under the request permit.

Any person who has an interest which may be adversely affected by the issuance of this permit may request a public hearing. The request, which must be in writing, must be received by the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, P.O. Box 1715, 21203-1715, within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration. Also it must clearly set forth the interest which may be adversely affected by this activity and the manner in which the interest may be adversely affected.

It is requested that you communicate this information concerning the proposed work to any persons known by you to be interested and not being known to this office, who did not receive a copy of this notice.