CONCORD, Mass. – Save Our Shores Association Trust 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 constructing a shoreline buffer project in Plymouth, Mass.
Save Our Shores Association Trust, of 41 Oak Bluff Circle in Plymouth, is proposing to perform work and place 37,494 square feet of fill below the high tide line of waters of the U.S. in order to install a series of low profile concrete-filled geotextile tubes perpendicular to the shoreline designed to encourage sand deposition along the beach to provide a natural shoreline buffer. The work is proposed in Cape Cod Bay at Monisa Kay Drive at Oak Bluff Circle in Plymouth.
The tubes are intended to create vortices necessary to abate wave energy and induce sediment desposition. An additional discharge includes the placement of 1,400 cubic yards of excavated material at the southern end of the system as nourishment to provide a sediment source to downdrift abutters while the system naturally fills to capacity. The project is intended to provide shoreline protection to the properties located above the coastal bank which is eroding in this area.
The proposed low energy system is intended to minimize adverse impacts on long-shore sediment transport and provide a gradual rate of nourishment to allow the resident flora and fauna to assimilate to the changing environment. However, eelgrass beds have been mapped in the subtidal area offshore of the proposed project. This subtidal area also is considered habitat for surf clam and ocean quahogs. No structures are proposed in the subtidal area. It is anticipated that the accretion of sand will be gradual and allow for the continued colonization of established eelgrass and shellfish beds. Limiting the proposed project to the intertidal area is intended to prevent adverse impacts to eelgrass and shellfish.
The proposed project will have an adverse effect on 37,494 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of intertidal area with potential eelgrass in the adjacent subtidal zone. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that site-specific impacts may be substantial. Accordingly, the Corps will submit an expanded EFH assessment to the National Marine Fisheries Service, who in turn will provide conservation recommendations to the Corps. The Corps will coordinate with the permit applicant regarding implementation of these recommendations. The EFH consultation will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.
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.
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; and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands.
Public comments on this work proposed by Save Our Shores Association Trust (file # NAE-2014-1028) should be forwarded no later than Nov. 5, 2014 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.