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Town of Wellfleet seeks Corps permit to dredge all town-managed channels, anchorages in town harbor

Published May 23, 2017
CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Wellfleet is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in order to dredge in Wellfleet Harbor at Kendrick Avenue in Wellfleet, Mass.

The proposed work involves maintenance dredging of all town-managed channels and anchorage areas in Wellfleet Harbor to -6 feet mean low water (MLW), with 1 foot over-dredge. A total area of approximately 38.5 acres will be mechanically dredged and produce approximately 378,300 cubic yards of sandy sediment for disposal at the Cape Cod Bay Disposal Site. Area 1, which is comprised of the North and South Access Channels, the North Anchorage, and the L-Pier Access Channel, is 14.6 acres, will produce 118,300 cubic yards, and was last dredged in 2001. Approximately 2.4 acres, or 16%, of Area 1 is intertidal flats. Area 2, which is the south anchorage, is 23.8 acres, will produce 248,000 cubic yards, and was last dredged in 1957. Approximately 13.9 acres, or 58%, of Area 2 is intertidal flats.

Through the development of this project, the applicant has attempted to avoid and minimize direct impacts to waters of the U.S. The Corps continues to work with the applicant to minimize temporary construction impacts (noise and turbidity impacts) to waters of the U.S.

The dredging portion of this project will impact approximately 14.6 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) in Area 1 for various species and life stages. Habitat at this site can be described as sandy subtidal marine bay and intertidal mud flats habitat. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species by removing the surface layer of sandy marine sediment. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect 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.

This project will have an adverse effect on 23.8 acres of Essential Fish Habitat in Area 2 for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of sandy subtidal marine habitat and intertidal mud flats habitat. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species by removing the surface layer of silty marine sediment. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that site-specific impacts may be substantial. Accordingly, the Corps will submit an expanded EFH assessment to National Marine Fisheries Service, who in turn will provide conservation recommendations. The Corps will coordinate with the applicant regarding implementation of these recommendations. The EFH consultation will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.

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.; Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands; and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, which regulates the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of disposal in the ocean.

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

Public comments on this work proposed by the town of Wellfleet (file # NAE-2015-01414) should be forwarded no later than June 23, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Phillip Nimeskern), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Phillip Nimeskern at 978-318-8660 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: phillip.w.nimeskern@usace.army.mil.

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

Release no. 17-053