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:
Harrison Inlet Inn, Inc
C/o Mr. Chris McCabe P.O. Box 66
Fruitland, Maryland 21826
LOCATION: In the Sinepuxent Bay north of the Ocean City Inlet at the Oceanic Motel at 710 South Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland.
WORK: To nourish an existing beach area by depositing approximately 411 cubic yards of clean select sand fill within a 35-foot wide by 240-foot long (15,449 square foot) area to extend a maximum of 35 feet channelward of the approximate mean high water (MHW) shoreline and to emplace a 10-foot wide by 20-foot long stone groin to extend no more than 5 feet channelward of the approximate MHW shoreline. The applicant proposes to maintain the beach nourishment area through deposition of fill as needed, not to exceed the original 411 cubic yards of fill yearly, for a period of 5 years. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the planning process for the proposed project, steps were taken to ensure avoidance and minimization of impacts to waters of the United States to the maximum extent practicable. Compensatory mitigation is not being proposed by the applicant for impacts to open water (inter- tidal and sub-tidal) habitat since the project would provide increased habitat for horseshoe crabs and other beach-dwelling organisms. No wetlands are proposed to be filled.
The purposes of the project are to nourish an existing beach area for recreational use at an existing commercial hotel; improve existing horseshoe crab habitat; and provide improved shoreline erosion control.
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 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted,funded, or undertaken by the agency that may adversely effect 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 has the potential to adversely affect EFH or the species of concern by alteration of spawning, nursery, forage and/or shelter habitat. The project may have an adverse effect on approximately 15,449 square feet of EFH as described under the MSFCMA for the species and life stages identified above. This habitat consists of a mostly sandy sub-tidal substrate that does not support submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) or hard clams (Mercenari mercenary). The proposed project will alter the existing elevations within the project footprint. However, the District Engineer 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 to minimize adverse effects on EFH at this time. This determination may be modified if additional information indicates otherwise and would change the preliminary determination.
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 benefit 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 the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, 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, 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, PO Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715, within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.
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, Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1708 within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration. The Section 401 certifying agency has a statutory limit of one year from the date of this public notice to make its decision.
Where applicable, 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 listed 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 requested permit.
The evaluation of the impact of the work described above on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Any person who has an interest, which may be adversely affected by the issuance of this permit, may request a public hearing. The District Engineer must receive the request, which must be in writing, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, PO Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715, within the comment period as specified as above to receive consideration. Also, it must clearly state forth the interest that may be adversely affected by this activity in the manner in which the interest may be adversely affected.
It is requested that you communicate the foregoing 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.