CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Gosnold 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 modify and maintain the existing public dock and pier in Gosnold, Mass. This work is proposed in Cuttyhunk Pond at 35 & 36 Broadway in Gosnold.
The work involves modifying and maintaining the existing public dock and pier system: removing the existing 16-foot by 45-foot pile-secured float and ramp. Constructing a new 8-foot by 45-foot pile-secured float and ramp 10 feet to the south of the existing float's location. Perpendicular to this new float, they will install a new 8-foot by 45-foot pile-secured float. The floats will be secured by four 18-foot diameter timber piles, which will have float stops. It will have an area of 720 square feet and will shade 207 square feet of sparse eel grass. This structure will be for the short term use of seaplanes, resident vessels and dinghies.
Work will include constructing a 62-foot long pile and timber deck or "public landing" parallel to the shore. This deck will be 28 feet wide at the northern end and 19 feet wide at the southern end and have a total area of 1,329 square feet. It will shade approximately 1,030 square feet of non-vegetated intertidal area, of which 780 square feet is existing stone revetment. The purpose of this structure is to provide a safe landing area for passengers of transient vessels to come ashore or to congregate outside of the adjacent congested driveway and parking area. In addition, it will provide access for fishing, public viewing, etc. and space for a seasonal vendor stand.
Also, work will include constructing a 14-foot by 64-foot pier extension to provide improved access to the existing fish pier. This will be adjacent to the existing pier and cover approximately 900 square feet of non-vegetated intertidal area. It will include constructing a triangular 11-foot by 10-foot, 55-square-foot extension to the fish pier to provide a new fish cleaning stand.
The purpose of this work is to modify the structures at the town pier to improve pedestrian safety and traffic. To minimize impacts, the applicants have reduced the sizes of the dinghy dock (from 1,440 square feet to 720 square feet) and the public landing (from 2,540 square feet to 1,329 square feet). To avoid impacts to eelgrass beds, the proposed dinghy dock was reduced in size and redesigned to shade less of the bed and then only the sparse fringe area.
This project will impact by shading 0.050 acre of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of rocky intertidal habitat, sandy intertidal habitat, and subtidal eelgrass bed. Impacting this habitat may adversely affect some of 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. The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work by the town of Gosnold, 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 Gosnold (file # NAE-2015-01311) should be forwarded no later than Oct. 5, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.