CONCORD, Mass. – Charles Island Oyster Farm 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 installing structures to establish a commercial shellfish aquaculture farm in Milford, Conn.
The proposed work involves the installation of structures in navigable waters of the U.S. to establish a commercial scale shellfish aquaculture farm for Eastern oysters on town of Milford shellfish lease 12M. A total of 445-inch long by 41-inch wide by 15-inch high bottom cages for the rearing of Eastern oysters will be installed within an approximately 5.2-acre subset of a 29-acre town lease off of the shore land for the town of Milford and Silver Sands State Park.
The work is proposed in Long Island Sound off of Milford, approximately 1,181 feet from Myrtle Beach and 1,231 feet from the sandbar associated with Charles Island, known as “The Bar.” The cages will be set in trawls of 10 cages with 5 feet between each cage in water depths of 4 feet at mean lower low water (MLLW) and 8 feet at mean high water (MHW). There will be 10 trawls of 10 cages placed in a linear fashion along the 1,431-linear-foot gear area for a total of 4 sets of longlines 75 feet in length. Each longline will have terminal buoys at each end for a project total of 20 buoys per multiple longline string.
The proposed project will impact approximately 3.6 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of subtidal bottom of predominantly sand with some gravel. The proposed structures may result in some impacts. 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 United States. The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on this proposal by Charles Island Oyster Farm (file # NAE-2012-1014) should be forwarded no later than Aug. 3, 2013 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.
Release no. 2013-057