CONCORD, Mass. – The city of Salem 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, disposal of dredged material and installing docks and other structures for a new commercial marina in Salem, Mass.
The city of Salem proposes mechanical dredging, with ocean disposal of the material, in an existing undisturbed basin off of Salem Harbor and installing docks and associated structures, to create a new municipal commercial marina for fishing vessels off of the city’s property at 10 Blaney Street in Salem. Specific work includes dredging of a sub-tidal area totaling approximately 47,000 square feet (estimated volume of material to be removed is 13,565 cubic yards) to a depth of –9 feet mlw with a 1-foot over-dredge, dredging of an inter-tidal area of approximately 300 square feet, installing approximately 6,165 square feet of pile-anchored floating docks (29 pilings), a 30-foot by 30-foot floating dock over the archaeological area, a 60-foot aluminum access ramp, a landing float, and a short sheet pile wall 60 linear feet long around the landing float. The dredged material will be disposed of in the Massachusetts Bay Disposal Site.
The project has been designed to minimize the landward limits of dredging required so that only minimal (300 square feet) intertidal resources areas above the mean low water line will be impacted by the dredging. Mitigation through the Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee Program will be provided for the loss of the 300 square feet of intertidal resource area. Silt producing activities will only be done when work is allowed in these coastal areas as a result of longstanding time of year restrictions.
The dredging portion of this project will adversely impact approximately 47,250 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. Habitat at this site can be described as subtidal silt and sand and 300 square feet of intertidal silt and sand. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect winter flounder. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that site-specific impacts will not be substantial. However, an expanded EFH assessment has been submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), who in turn will provide conservation recommendations to the Corps. The Corps will coordinate with the applicant regarding implementation of these recommendations. The EFH consultation will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.
The application for the federal permit was filed by the city of Salem 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; and with Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, which provides for federal regulation of transportation of dredged material for the purpose of disposal in the ocean.
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 work proposed by the city of Salem (file # NAE 2005-1095) should be forwarded no later than Oct. 3, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Brian Valiton), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Brian Valiton at 978-318-8166 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.