Tag-Archive for » Army Corps Of Engineers «

February 02nd, 2012 | Author:

Santa Rosa County has received and reviewed the final draft Federal Permits from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). The county is set to sign the permits and has begun the procurement/deployment process for the beach accessible snorkeling reefs on the Gulf Side of Navarre Beach Park. A final federal (ACOE) permit for the two Sound Side reef sites is expected within the next month. Applications for the required Gulf side and Sound side federal permits were submitted in September of 2009. The federal permit process was expected to take 18 months but has been delayed due to the ACOE activities associated with The Deep Horizon oil spill and associated responses. State permits were granted for both sites in 2009.

The reefs specified in the permit are the Eco System piling mounted disc reefs, a patented design by Walter Marine. If contracting details can be put together within the next two weeks, the reefs could get the go ahead from the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commission (BOCC) as early as February 23rd. The installation process itself will not be long (2-3 days in the Gulf and 3-5 days for the Sound), but a suitable weather window with multiple days of calm seas is critical for the Gulf reef installation. Weather is not as critical for the installation of the Sound side reefs. Depending on the timing of receiving the federal permits for the Sound side reefs and weather conditions, the Sound side reefs may be installed earlier than the Gulf reefs. Historically, the sea state gets calmer as we get into June, but we are hopeful the weather cooperates and the reef installation can proceed as soon as possible.

August 20th, 2011 | Author:

The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)  received a positive response from NOAA on the required section 7 consult for ALL of our Gulf and Sound Side reef area permits.  This means National Marine Fisheries Service of NOAA agrees with the biological assessment written by Keith Johnson of Wetland Sciences (our environmental consultant).    The action indicates we have cleared the final large hurdle with the only step left being the creation by the ACOE of the permit conditions.  The conditions basically dictate what we can and can not do within the permit area such as materials allowed, setback distances, etc.    As of August 11th There is currently only one permit ahead of us in that process.  The Marine Sanctuary permit conditions  will be drafted next.  After the conditions are written and approved by the  ACOE, they will be issued to Santa Rosa County.   The final approval is expected without delay once the conditions are written.  These final steps are expected to be complete with permits in hand within six weeks (September).

The Marine Sanctuary Committee is working with Santa Rosa County on finalizing the implementation plan so that process may begin as soon as permits are in hand.

April 06th, 2011 | Author:

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on approval of the TDC funding constuction and deployment of  the three Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary  reef sites currently being permitted.    The vote is planned for the 9 AM April 14th regular meeting of the Board in 6495 Caroline Street in Milton, FL.    Discussions about the project and proposed funding will be held at the Monday April 12th Commissioner Committee Meeting.

Assuming a successful funding vote, a major milestone  for the efforts to create snorkeling and diving reefs at Navarre Beach will be passed.   With up to $75,000 in matching funds from the TDC, Commissioner Jim Melvin has pledged to fund the balance of the cost out of district recreational funds.   The last hurdle is the receipt of the Federal permits.  Permits have been in the approval cycle with the Army Corps of Engineers since September of 2009 and are expected to be issued by early summer.  After issuance of permits construction may begin on the 135 reef units with installation to be scheduled as soon as possible afterwards.

March 10th, 2011 | Author:

County Commissioner Jim Melvin today confirmed that he will commit half of the cost of the reef construction deployment which will be match by the Santa Rosa Tourist Development Committee (TDC) who pledged support in a meeting earlier this week.  His March newsletter on the Santa Rosa County website announces is commitment.

The TDC  pledged to fund half of the cost of deploying reefs into the two Santa Rosa Sound sites and the Gulf of Mexico site being permitted  off of Navarre Beach.  The pledge came during the Wednesday, March 9th South End TDC meeting.  Mandy Evers (Marine Sanctuary Committee Chair person) presented information to the TDC about the current status of the program and answered questions about the reefs, their economic, educational, and environmental impact and the future plans for the reef program.   The commitment during the South End meeting must be confirmed by the full TDC which meets later this month.

Previously County Commissioner Jim Melvin has said in public statements that he will seek to fund the deployment of the reefs and has stressed  avid support of the program.    Today (March 10th) Commissioner Melvin confirmed to Mandy Evers that he will commit the funds pending issuing of the required federal permits.  Once the permits are issued, a formal vote will be held by the County Commission to appropriate the committed funds.

With full funding for the program in hand,  the only obstacle to installing the reefs is obtaining the required federal permits.  State permits have been issued and the Federal permits are going through the final approval process  with the Army Corps of Engineers.    The Marine Sanctuary Committee continues with fund raising an community awareness  activities such as the Run for the Reef and a planned reef sponsorship program to provide features such as  educational interpretive signage, reef maintenance, and funding for unplanned expenses and contingencies.

The 100% funding  is a huge milestone for the Marine Sanctuary program.  We anticipate changing of our slogan soon  from Make Navarre Snorkelicious! to Navarre IS Snorkelicious!

March 12th, 2010 | Author:

Escambia County received word today from NOAA,  of a favorable ruling for the  snorekeling reef permits in the sound near the Fort Pickens gate and nearshore in the Gulf, just west of  Casino Beach.   This means  after the Army Corps of Engineers is officially notified of the ruling, that Federal Permits should be forthcoming.

This is GREAT NEWS for both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.  Because of the favorable ruling, the way is paved for application of the same criteria and precedent  inthe permits being sought by the Marine Sanctuary.  We are one very large step closer to Making Navarre Snorkelicious!!

Another bit of good news is that the re survey of the Navarre Gulf Reef Site came back with no changes to the original survey.  This means no  information gathered for the Navarre Gulf side snorkeling reef permits will need to be altered, which should further help the speed of the permitting process.

January 17th, 2010 | Author:

Next Meeting:
Our next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, January 26th at 6 PM in the Navarre Visitor Center Conference Room (enter through rear sound side door please).  As always the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.  We  look forward to building on the successes of last year by continuing to inform the public about the economic, environmental, and educational benefits of the reef program and Making Navarre Snorkelicious!


Fundraising:

Reef Sponsorship Program
After input from discussion at our December meeting, a draft of the final plan for a Reef Sponsorship Program has been developed.   Information  and plans will be presented at our January meeting.

Grants
Our application for an International Paper Foundation  Grant with a focus on environmental education was submitted this month.  We continue to research grant opportunities.

Run for the Reef 2010
It is time to start planning our Second Run for the Reef.  We are looking for a volunteer to chair this committee.  This was our major fundraiser for 2009.  With what we learned, it can be even bigger in 2010.

Permitting:
We are pleased to be on track for successful completion of permitting.  Santa Rosa County BOCC submitted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit applications in August 2009, and our environmental consultant is in the process of responding to the first round of comments.  We are on track to meet the projected 8 -14 month time frame of approval for the ACOE permits which would place the projected permit approval date between April and October 2010.

Community Awareness:
On January 2nd we set up our information booth at the Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association Rigging Clinic at Hot Spots Bait and Tackle in Gulf Breeze.  This was a great opportunity to explain how the artificial reef and  marine sanctuary will benefit all  marine life in the area.
A presentation to the Navarre Beach Yacht Club is scheduled for their February 1st general meeting , 7pm at Juana’s.

Community awareness is very important to keep this project moving forward.  We continue to look for opportunities to make appearances at local civic organizations and set up and informational booth or table at events.  Committee members are encouraged to step forward to both schedule/coordinate these opportunities and to help by manning a booth or table or presenting our (now fairly standardized) presentation.

Agenda for Marine Sanctuary Monthly Meeting – January 26, 2010 at 6pm

1.      Leadership roles for 2010

2.      Fundraising:
a.   Reef Sponsorship Program
b.  Grants
c.     2010 Run for the Reef (pre planning, prime sponsor recruiting, etc)

3.    Permitting Update

4.    Community Awareness:  Recent and Future events or speaking engagements

November 08th, 2009 | Author:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began accepting public comments  on October 19th for  the Gulf Side Snorkeling and Diving Reef Permit applications made by the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners.  The Permit reference for it is SAJ-2009-3187 (IP-SWA).  Comments will be received regarding this permit for 21 days (through November 9th).

The Corps also began accepting public comments on October 29th for the east and west Sound Side Reef Permit applications made by the Commissioners.   The Permit reference number for this permit is SAJ-2009-3188 (IP-SWA).  Comments will be received regarding this permit for 21 days also (through November 19th).

We encourage the public to comment positively on the need for both of these permits to be approved.   Let the Federal Government know that the reefs will have an immediate, large and lasting positive impact on the panhandle area economy, environment, and education  on both permit applications.  Economically the reefs will increase annual economic output in Santa Rosa County alone by $1.17 Million.  The estimated oyster growth on the proposed sound side reefs will create a water filtration capacity of almost 2 Million gallons of water per day and both the sound and gulf side reefs will provide essential marine habitat for juvenile fish species and increase marine biodiversity.  Both reefs will be a centerpiece amenity for the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary and all other area educational institutions and will facilitate learning and research programs from grade school through post graduate studies.

Please reference the permit number(s) when sending your comments.  You can send comments in writing by regular mail or email to Mr. Steve Andrews Jr. of the Army Corps.

Email comments can be sent to stephen.w.andrews@usace.army.mil

The physical address for letters is:

Dept of the Army – Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers

Pensacola Regional Office

41 North Jefferson St. Suite 111

Pensacola, FL 32502

October 01st, 2009 | Author:

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued the General Permits required for all three reef sites  (two in the sound and one in the gulf) of the marine sanctuary.  This is  a major step forward and gives us  three of the six permits required.    In addition to this good news,  we believe the other three required  permits that issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, will be going out to public notice for comment within days.  This is fantastic progress and even keeps us ahead of schedule.

August 26th, 2009 | Author:

Today (August 26th), the Marine Sanctuary Committee delivered to Santa Rosa County, all the federal and state permit applications and supporting information required for the sound side and gulf side diving and snorkeling reefs they are working to establish at Navarre Beach.

Applications delivered to Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker

Permit Applications delivered to Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker

There are six application packages total with one set of three addressed to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and another set of three addressed to the Army Corps of Engineers. The permit application packages are outlined below.

1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers East Sound Side Reef Application Package
2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers West Sound Side Reef Application Package
3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Reef Application Package
4. FL DEP East Sound Side Reef Application Package
5. FL DEP West Sound Side Reef Application Package
6. FL DEP Gulf Reef Application Package

The next step in the process is for the county to sign and deliver the applications to Florida State DEP and Army Corps of Engineers respectively. The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution 2009-13 on May 14, 2009 which confirmed the Board’s support of the marine sanctuary and their commitment to submit the professionally prepared permit applications delivered to them by the Marine Sanctuary Committee, and hold the resulting permits issued by the federal and state governments. The Sanctuary Committee anticipates the county will submit the applications within the next ten days to two weeks.

The Florida DEP permits are issued under the state’s General Permitting guidelines which are typically issued 30 to 60 days after submission by the county. The Army Corps of Engineers approval/issuance process is estimated to take between eight to fourteen months after submission by the county due to the coordination of the large number of other governmental agencies that typically review and comment on the permit applications.

The completion and submission of the applications is a major milestone for creation of the marine sanctuary. The Sanctuary Committee is pleased to be able to meet this milestone on budget and on time, and looks forward to shepherding the permits through the approval process, and deployment of the diving and snorkeling reefs into the permitted areas of the sound and gulf.

August 14th, 2009 | Author:

Below is a link to a graphic depicting the location of each (Gulf, East Sound and West Sound) of the reef areas to be permitted.

Reef Location Graphic

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit application files are too large to load/access from our website. If you would like to view the .pdf versions of these files please email navbms@navarrebeachmarinesanctuary.com and request a copy of one or more of the following files and they will be emailed to you.

Corps Application Package (East Sound Side Reef).pdf

Corps Application Package (West Sound Side Reef).pdf

Corps Application Package (Gulf Reef).pdf

DEP Application Package (East Sound Side Reef).pdf

DEP Application Package (West Sound Side Reef).pdf

DEP application package (Gulf Reef).pdf