CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Oak Bluffs 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 the rehabilitation and expansion of a deteriorated stone revetment in Oak Bluffs, on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. A notice was issued April 2, but this current notice includes additional information and the public comment period has been extended to May 9, 2019.
The work is proposed along the northeastern shoreline of Oak Bluffs seaward of East Chop Road in Nantucket Sound in Oak Bluffs. The proposed project involves the discharge of approximately 11,158 cubic yards of rip rap material over an approximately 34,500-square-foot area below the high tide line for the rehabilitation and expansion of an existing, deteriorated stone revetment to mitigate future erosion of the bluff.
The town of Oak Bluffs has taken measures to reduce impacts to Waters of the United States by limiting seaward encroachment to the maximum extent practicable to achieve the project purpose. A majority of the proposed rehabilitation will occur within the historic and existing footprint of the revetment.
The proposed project will impact 0.79 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). This habitat consists of intertidal habitat and hard bottom habitat. 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.; and 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 work proposed by the town of Oak Bluffs, 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 Oak Bluffs (file # NAE-2017-01616) should be forwarded no later than May 9, 2019 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Mike Wierbonics), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Mike Wierbonics at 978-318-8723 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.