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Posted 7/19/2016

Release no. 2016-063


Contact
Tim Dugan
978-318-8264
cenae-pa@usace.army.mil

CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Barnstable, Mass., is seeking to modify a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with dredging the town harbor entrance channel and disposing of the dredge material.

 

The town is seeking a permit modification to an existing permit issued in 2008. The modification is to allow for the maintenance dredging of the mid-entrance channel located within Barnstable Harbor using mechanical methods (barge-mounted excavator or crane) with offshore disposal of approximately 3,492 cubic yards of sediments at the Cape Cod Bay Disposal Site. The town is planning to conduct the required maintenance dredging in the fall of 2016/winter of 2017 season.

 

The existing Corps permit currently authorizes the hydraulic dredging of this section of the entrance channel with the placement of sediments within the adjacent Blish Point Sediment Containment Basin. Since the town last dredged this portion of the entrance channel in 2008-2009, the containment basin has been impacted by significant erosion and is therefore no longer considered a stable or viable site for placement of dredge sediments. Accordingly, the town is seeking a permit modification, to allow the maintenance dredging to proceed using mechanical methods as required for the disposal of sediments at the Cape Cod Bay Disposal Site.

 

The project includes work in navigable waters and the discharge of dredged or fill material to dredge an approximately 182,000 square foot area to a depth of 6 feet below mean low water (MLW) at Maraspin Creek/Barnstable Harbor in Barnstable. Approximately 20,000 cubic yards of sandy material will be removed by hydraulic means, dewatered above the high tide line (HTL) at the nearby Millway Beach, and disposed of below the HTL as beach and dune nourishment at Sandy Neck Cottage Area and Sandy Neck Lighthouse Area and above the HTL at Sandy Neck Public Beach.

 

Disposal below the HTL at Sandy Neck Cottage Area includes the filling of approximately 3,550 square feet of saltmarsh as part of the restoration of a degraded coastal dune in that area.

 

The town proposes to restore the dune at Sandy Neck Cottage Area by placing clean dredge material into the excavated area, thereby restoring the natural elevations, hydrology and functions of the dune. The volume of material required for Coastal Dune Restoration within this area is approximately 7,500 cubic yards, filling an area of approximately 82,300 square feet below the HTL.                                                                        

 

The project will impact approximately 6.1 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of intertidal and subtidal sandy substrate and saltmarsh. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effects to EFH will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.

 

The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the town of Barnstable, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.

 

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the U.S.; and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands.

 

Public comments on this work proposed by the town of Barnstable (file # NAE-2004-4187) should be forwarded no later than Aug. 18, 2016 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Kevin Kotelly), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Kevin Kotelly at 978-318-8703 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: kevin.r.kotelly@usace.army.mil.