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Permit applicant seeks Corps authority for work, structures in U.S. navigable waters in Bourne’s Cove in Wareham

Published April 5, 2011

CONCORD, Mass. – G. Michael Besse is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in conjunction with work and structures in navigable waters in Wareham, Mass.


The project is work and structures in navigable waters for the after-the-fact permitting of culturing and harvesting of bivalve molluscs in the subtidal habitat of a 12.29-acre area known as Grant #84 in Bourne’s Cove in Wareham, Mass. Grant #84 has been in existence since 1954 and has been in operation under different sizes and configurations since that time. The current operation consists of a floating dock with two upwellers for raising bivalve mollusc seed. The seedlings are taken from the upweller and planted in either bags or cages for grow-out. The bags or cages are located either on the bottom substrate or floating at the water’s surface depending on their location and the time of year. All 12.29 acres of Grant #84 are not currently in operation, but may be at some time. 


This project will impact 12.29 acres of Essential Fish Habitat for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of subtidal open water. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect 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 public notice can be viewed on the Corps website at Select Regulatory/Permitting and then weekly public notices.


Public comments on the Corps permit review (File # NAE-2011-135) should be forwarded no later than May 5, 2011 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Kevin Kotelly), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Kevin Kotelly at 978-318-8703 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to:

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2011-036