CONCORD, Mass. – The town of North Kingstown 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 retain moorings in the coastal waters of in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. This area is generally known as the West Passage of Narragansett Bay from Saunderstown, R.I., to the Potowomut River, including Allen Harbor and Wickford Harbor.
There are 18 existing mooring fields on the western shore of West Passage of Narragansett Bay. The locations of the mooring fields are shown in Exhibits B and C and further described in Exhibit D (in the Corps public notice). It is noted that Mooring Area 6 is located within a Federal Navigation Project (FNP) and Mooring Area 7 is generally located along the FNP boundary. The town of North Kingstown has requested authorization to retain all existing mooring fields in North Kingstown. These mooring fields have existed since the early 1990s.
The 18 mooring fields will cumulatively impact approximately 447 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). This habitat consists of various substrate types. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect species that use these waters and substrate. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the sitespecific 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, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on the proposed work by the town of North Kingstown (file # NAE-2017-01801) should be forwarded no later than Nov. 10, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Alex Kostra), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Alex Kostra at 978-318-8651 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Release no. 17-113