CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Tisbury Harbormaster is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. to dredge in Vineyard Sound and Lake Tashmoo Inlet Channel at the end of Herring Creek Road on Martha’s Vineyard in Tisbury, Mass., and use the sand for beach nourishment.
The town is proposing maintenance dredging of approximately 25,000 cubic yards of mostly sandy material over 10 years from approximately 5.1 acres (221,156 square feet) of subtidal habitat in the Lake Tashmoo Channel to a depth of -7 feet mean low water by hydraulic and mechanical means. Approximately 5,000 cubic yards will be removed every other year. The dredged material is to be placed as beach nourishment above and below the high tide line of Vineyard Sound on a 4.74 acre (206,600 square feet) area of town beach located adjacent to the Channel, with the exception of sediment removed from station 26+50 to 30+00. This sediment, approximately 3,210 cubic yards of silty sand, is not suitable for beach nourishment and will be transported to an upland location. The location will be approved by the Corps of Engineers prior to disposal.
In addition, the town is proposing to dredge approximately 500 cubic yards of mostly sandy material from approximately 5,600 square feet of subtidal habitat at the Town Landing adjacent to Lake Street in Tisbury to a depth of -6 feet mean low water by mechanical means. Approximately 100 cubic yards of material will be removed every other year for 10 years and used as beach nourishment at the Vineyard Sound location.
These activities have been previously authorized for both dredging and disposal for beach nourishment, and therefore no mitigation is proposed.
The dredging portion of this project will impact approximately 5.1 acres and 5,600 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. Habitat in the channel and at the town landing can be described as mostly sand substrate with some silt substrate. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species. 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.
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.
The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work by the town of Tisbury, 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 Tisbury, (file # NAE-2016-00017) should be forwarded no later than Aug. 17, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Joshua Helms), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Joshua Helms at 978-318-8211 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.