CONCORD, Mass. – The Niantic Bay Yacht Club in East Lyme, Connecticut, 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 13,000 cubic yards of material to allow vessels to continue to access the docking facilities at the yacht club in East Lyme, Connecticut. This work is proposed in Niantic Bay at 8 Shore Road in the town of East Lyme.
The proposed work involves mechanically dredging 13,000 cubic yards over 60,000 square feet to a depth of – 9 feet mean low water (MLW) including a 1 foot over-dredge allowance. It includes mechanically dredging 1,800 cubic yards over 6,000 square feet to a depth of -5 feet MLW including a 1 foot over-dredge allowance.
Dewatering and disposal of the dredged materials will be at an onsite upland location. Niantic Bay Yacht Club has been permitted by the Corps for recreational structures since 1968. The applicant states that the protective breakwater is not an adequate height to completely block the sand and that over time this has led to sand accretion in many areas that could interfere with vessels accessing the docks at all times during the tide cycle.
Dredging will allow vessels to continue to access the docking facilities at the yacht club. The applicant is working with the Corps on ways to avoid, minimize, and compensate for the eelgrass and intertidal area impacts.
The dredging portion of this project will impact approximately 66,000 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Habitat at this site can be described as intertidal, submerged aquatic vegetation, hard bottom and subtidal. 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. The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the Niantic Bay Yacht Club, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.
Public comments on the proposed work by the Niantic Bay Yacht Club (file # NAE-2006-00768) should be forwarded no later than Jan. 17, 2020 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Christina Comeau), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Christina Comeau at 978-318-8705 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: email@example.com.