CONCORD, Mass. – The Town of Dennis 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 Dennis and Yarmouth, Mass., and disposal.
The proposed work involves the selective dredging of multiple navigation and mooring basins within multiple waterways in the towns of Dennis and Yarmouth. Suitable dredged material will be used as nourishment on multiple townowned beaches in Dennis while material that is not deemed suitable for beach nourishment will be disposed of at the Cape Cod Bay Disposal Site and at the South Dennis Landfill.
Dredging is proposed in Sesuit Harbor, Swan Pond River, and the Bass River by mechanical and/or hydraulic means. Dredging and nourishment is proposed in both previously dredged and nourished areas as well as new areas. Previous dredging has been completed within Sesuit Harbor and the Swan Pond River; however, the majority of the proposed areas within the Bass River have never been dredged. The specific locations of the work can be viewed on the plans included in the public notice posted on the Corps website.
The purpose of this permit review is to bring all of the Town's dredging and beach nourishment maintenance activities under one comprehensive permit. This will provide the Town the flexibility they need to dredge and nourish the highest priority areas and allow for effective and efficient use of Town resources. The Town is requesting to dredge approximately 434,310 cubic yards from portions of these waterways over 10 years. This encompasses an approximately 96.03-acre area.
All areas of Bass River and Sesuit Harbor will be dredged to a depth of -6 feet mean low water (MLW) and the Swan Pond River will be dredged to -4 feet MLW. Approximately 175,000 cubic yards of dredged material will be used as nourishment on Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound beaches, encompassing approximately 4 acres. Approximately 70,000 cubic yards of material will be disposed of at the Cape Cod Bay Disposal Site and another 190,000 cubic yards will be disposed of at the South Dennis Landfill.
The Town of Dennis is working to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts to aquatic resources. The Town of Dennis has limited the proposed dredging to 5 of 17 basins within Bass River based on feedback from the Town residents, Shellfish Constables, and other environmental factors.
The dredging portion of this proposed project will impact approximately 96.03 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Habitat at this site can be described as sand and mud. 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.
Dredged material disposal is proposed for Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound Beaches. This project will impact 4 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). This habitat consists 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.; Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands; and 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 the Town of Dennis, 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 Dennis (file # NAE-2016-01061) should be forwarded no later than July 26, 2018 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.