CONCORD, Mass. – Larry Robertie, representing Palmers Cove Yacht Club, Inc., 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 conjunction with dredging in Salem Harbor in Salem, Mass. This work is proposed at 74 Leavitt Street in Salem.
The proposed work involves the maintenance dredging of 219,404 square feet of Salem Harbor with disposal of the 25,000 cubic yards of dredged material at the Massachusetts Bay Disposal Site. The applicant is requesting to retain, maintain, and expand 4,863 square feet of pile-supported floats and piers and is requesting a 199,310-square-foot area be designated as a reconfiguration zone to allow for the movement of structures as needed.
The proposed project has been designed to minimize impacts to the surrounding environment to the greatest extent practicable. Several mitigation measures have been proposed including a time-of-year restriction to protect fisheries resources, a reduction in the dredge footprint to minimize impacts to intertidal areas and submerged aquatic vegetation, the movement of floats to prevent grounding in intertidal areas at low tide, and in lieu fee mitigation for unavoidable impacts to special aquatic sites, including intertidal mud flat areas.
The dredging portion of this project will impact approximately 219,404 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Habitat at this site can be described as soft silt with traces of sand. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect species that use these waters and substrate. 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.; with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands; and with 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 work proposed by Palmers Cove Yacht Club, Inc., can be viewed on the Corps website at ww.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on this work proposed by Palmers Cove Yacht Club, Inc. (file # NAE-2015-1349) should be forwarded no later than Dec. 10, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Christine Jacek), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Christine Jacek at 978-318-8026 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: email@example.com.