CONCORD, Mass. – Save the Bay Center is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with expanding an existing marina in Providence, Rhode Island.
The applicant seeks to enlarge the existing marina at the Save the Bay Center by constructing a fixed pier with a covered area for public access, a floating wave attenuator and kayak docks. This work is proposed in the Providence River at 100 Save the Bay Drive in Providence.
The site is just west of Fields Point in the Providence River. The existing marina docks boats belonging to Save the Bay. Local colleges also currently use the facility for crewing.
Proposed new work includes constructing an 8-foot by 212-foot public access pier running parallel to and slightly east of the existing marina. The pier terminus is a 27-foot by 27-foot covered viewing area. The covering is a seasonal fabric canopy designed to keep people dry during storms and will be removed during the off-season. The covered deck will help provide a protected instructional and viewing space for classroom trips to the Save the Bay facility and Explore the Bay education programs.
A ramp will reach from the end of the new pier to a kayak dock and the floating wave attenuator. There is a small wave fence under the ramp which is a minimized impact from the original proposal for a large wave fence under the pier. A kayak dock with two launch ramps will be installed on the inside (north) of the floating wave attenuator.
A new 14-foot by 240-foot floating wave attenuator will be installed outside (south) of the existing marina and provide protection for the existing marina facilities. It will help dampen waves, protect the existing docks inside the marina and facilitate calmer boarding conditions for Save the Bay education cruises. The floating wave attenuator will serve as a public dock for transient vessels visiting the Save the Bay Center complex and provide crewing opportunities for local colleges. The large attenuator float will not be pile-secured; it will be bottom-anchored using 2-inch chains attached to six 20-ton concrete mooring blocks on the outside and six helical anchors on the inside or landward side.
A suspended shellfish upweller to grow mussels, hard clams and oysters will be located under the floating wave attenuator for educational and shellfish restoration purposes. There will be a revised marina perimeter limit to encompass the expanded marina.
The proposed project will impact 0.19 acre of Essential Fish Habitat for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of sands and silts. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect some of these species. 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 Essential Fish Habitat 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 of Engineers 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 United States. The Corps public notice, with more detailed information on the proposed project, can be reviewed online at the Corps website http://www.nae.usace.army.mil. Select Regulatory/Permitting and then weekly public notices and search by file number or state.
Public comments on the Corps permit review (File # NAE-2010-1747) should be forwarded no later than June 24, 2011 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Michael Elliott), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Michael Elliott at 978-318-8131 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.