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The District of Fenwood seeks permit for beach maintenance at municipal beach in Old Saybrook

Published June 11, 2019

CONCORD, Mass. – The District of Fenwood 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 beach maintenance at an existing municipal district recreational beach in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.


Work is proposed in waters of Long Island Sound, approximately 1.27 miles west of Breakwater Light on the western bank of the Connecticut River at Fenwood Beach. The beach front is south of the Maple Avenue (Connecticut Route 154) seawall opposite from 478 and 484 Maple Avenue in Old Saybrook.


The work for which authorization is being sought involves both a request for after-the-fact approval (for 2018) and long-term (10 years) annual beach maintenance at an existing municipal district recreational beach. The project includes discharge of approximately 60 cubic yards of sand to a depth of 5-inches over a 130-foot- wide by 11.5-foot-long (approximately 1,500 square feet) section of existing recreational beach between the high tide line (HTL) at elevation 4.1 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) and mean high water (MHW) at elevation 2.2 feet NGVD.


The purpose of the proposed work is to top dress the existing recreational beach and routine maintenance of beach elevation through the replacement of beach material lost to erosion from severe winter storm events.


The beach nourishment activity has been configured to avoid impact to aquatic resources by eliminating a discharge of material below MHW and it minimizes impacts to aquatic resources through the use of a coarser grade of material that is less likely to be resuspended by wave action and carried to offshore locations. The area of impact is an existing (circa 1930's) created recreational beach and no compensatory mitigation is proposed.


This project will impact approximately 1,500 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). This habitat consists of coarse sand between the high tide line and mean high water on a man-made beach between constructed groins. 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 with 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 District of Fenwood, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.


Public comments on The District of Fenwood work (file # NAE-2015-02254) should be forwarded no later than July 11, 2019 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Cori Rose), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Cori Rose at 978-318-8306 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: cori.m.rose@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 19-055