CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Plymouth Department of Public Works 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 and do other work in Plymouth Harbor at Water Street and Town Wharf in Plymouth, Mass.
The proposed work involves dredging of approximately 1,500 cubic yards of material to approximately 5 – 6 feet below/waterward of the mean high water (MHW) elevation, the discharge of fill material into approximately 5,400 square feet (0.12) acre of tidal waters of the U.S. in order to facilitate expansion (relocation) of an existing 235-foot portion of a seawall approximately 15 feet seaward (NNE) of the existing high tide line, and the additional discharge of approximately 600 square feet of material (new riprap) for shoreline protection and stormwater improvements including relocation of an existing outfall.
Work also includes installation of a pile-supported overlook of which approximately 675 square feet is placed over (a maximum of 15 feet waterward of) MHW; and installation of a 90-foot by 18-foot boardwalk of which approximately a 90-foot by 15-foot section is placed waterward of MHW; and dredging of approximately 220 cubic yards of material from an area of 3,600 square feet, replacement of an existing, previously authorized floating dock system with a new pile-supported dock system.
All dredged material will either be reused onsite as fill material (to the extent practicable and permissible) or disposed of at a suitable upland site well-removed from waters of the U.S. Additional work includes installation of additional boardwalks, overlooks, parapets and other infrastructure improvements. Portions of this work are located landward of MHW and thus do not involve work and/or discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. and therefore are not subject to Department of the Army jurisdiction.
The purpose of the proposed project is to address inadequate and outdated pedestrian facilities and related roadway infrastructure along an intensively used section of Water Street in Plymouth's historic waterfront district, immediately north of Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Particular aspects include creating sidewalk access compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), improving stormwater treatment, providing enhanced lighting, facilitating adaptation to expected future sea-level rise, and accommodating increased tourism.
This project will impact 0.12 acre of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) due to the proposed expansion of the existing seawall. This habitat consists of sand, coarse sand and cobble. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect various species and life stages. 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 with 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 Plymouth Department of Public Works, 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 Plymouth Department of Public Works (file # NAE-2014-02247) should be forwarded no later than Sept. 21, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Alan Anacheka-Nasemann), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Alan Anacheka-Nasemann at 978-318-8214 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.