CONCORD, Mass. – Lynde Point Land Trust, 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 stabilizing long-term shoreline erosion and protecting Lynde Point Marsh in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. This work is proposed in Long Island Sound and Crab Creek east and northeast of 6 Mohegan Avenue in Old Saybrook.
The proposed work involves the discharge of fill material, both temporary and permanent, consisting of soil and rock associated with northerly relocation of Crab Creek, filling of the old tidal creek and cross-culvert abandonment in place under Mohegan Avenue, construction of intertidal stone sills, creation of tidal wetland habitat and reestablishment and expansion of coastal dune features.
The reconfiguration of Crab Creek is designed to prevent tidal blockages and the placement of fill as a “living shoreline” is proposed to attenuate waves that are causing shoreline erosion and barrier beach migration northward. A total of 710 square feet of tidal wetland will be converted to dry land with placement of 63 cubic yards of sand for expansion of a coastal dune. In all, the proposed work will result in a discharge of fill material and associated grading with permanent impacts over a 34,750-square-foot (0.80 acre) area of unvegetated intertidal and subtidal habitat and a 710-square-foot (0.016 acre) area of tidal wetland. The work will also include 8,300 square feet of temporary fill associated with best management practices.
The purpose of the proposed work is to stabilize the long-term shoreline erosion and protect Lynde Point Marsh, Crab Creek, Mohegan Avenue and the adjacent salt pond from the more frequent storms that threaten these features.
The project will include the following components: installation of best management construction practices to include silt-fence and staked straw wattles above Mean High Water (MHW) and turbidity curtains/debris booms at/below MHW for water quality protection; excavation of a new, approximately, 450-linear-foot long by 10-foot to 20-foot wide by 3.25-foot deep tidal channel; construction of a new 33-foot long by 6-foot wide by 2.4-foot high open bottom arch culvert under Mohegan Avenue; backfill of the former 500-linear foot Crab Creek channel with discharge of approximately 720 cubic yards of substrate consisting of sand, peat and root mat over an area of approximately 8,700 square feet; excavation below the high tide line to remove a temporary corrugated pipe from the former creek bed; excavation of approximately 9,790 square feet of intertidal cobble and cobble beach and stockpiling of the material on the beach above the HTL for reuse to blend into edges and cap proposed stone sills; installation of nine engineered stone sills with a base at mean lower low water elevation of -2.2 NAVD88; removal and control of 4,815 square feet of invasive honeysuckle and common reed; discharge of approximately 2,300 cubic yards sand backfill, covered by coir blanket for temporary stabilization; discharge of approximately 700 cubic yards of sand over an area of approximately 20,950 square feet for construction of a new sand dune at elevation 10-feet NAVD88; and reestablishment of cobble beach over an estimated 11,380-square-foot area landward of mean higher high water elevation 1.7-feet NAVD88.
The proposed work is expected to take approximately 5 months (two for creek relocation and three for the living shoreline) and will be required to adhere to these time-of-year restrictions. No work July 1 through Sept. 6 to avoid impacts on the residential community; and no work April 1 through Sept. 1 beachside to avoid potential impact to piping plover, unless authorized in writing by CT DEEP.
The dredging portion of this project will impact approximately 5,050 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Habitat at this site can be described as intertidal beach dominated by rounded cobble. 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 Lynde Point Land Trust, Inc., can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.
Public comments on the proposed work by Lynde Point Land Trust, Inc., (file # NAE-2017-02706) should be forwarded no later than May 7, 2020 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.