«MAINTENANCE DREDGING AND BULKHEAD REPLACEMENT US COAST GUARD STATION. MIAMI BEACH MIAMI BEACH, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL ...»
The proposed action will not result in adverse human health or environmental affects which would disproportionally impact a particular minority or low-income population. The action will take place on and adjacent to a property of the USCG. The property is restricted access and only employees of the USCG and other authorized individuals are allowed on the property. The CGB Miami Beach is located adjacent to a major port in a highly urbanized area and there are no private homes on the property. Properties located across from Meloy Channel are a high dollar value private marina and condominiums. Low-income populations and minority populations are not disproportionately located within the region of influence of the proposed action. The proposed activity would not (a) exclude persons from participation in, (b) deny persons the benefits of, or (c) subject persons to discrimination because of their race, color, or national origin, nor would the proposed action adversely impact "subsistence consumption of fish and wildlife." Therefore, the project is in compliance with this Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice.
4.31.23 E.O. 13089, CORAL REEF PROTECTION This EO may apply to coastal projects especially those which might directly or indirectly impact coral reefs. Although the project has corals growing on the CGB Miami Beach bulkheads, those bulkheads are not considered coral reefs under the EO and the EO is not applicable to the project. However, the USCG plans to relocate any scleractinian corals greater than 10 cm in size to an alternative location. Additionally, if it can be done without project delays and cost to the USCG, corals smaller than 10cm and other associated organisms may be collected by other entities for research and education purposes.
4.31.24 E.O. 13112, INVASIVE SPECIES The proposed project would affect the status of invasive species in and around the project area.
Potential impacts on invasive species include, but are not limited to:
• Disturbances to the marine environment including in the slip where dredged material will be removed and the excavated dredged material will be placed in the ODMDS and the placement of new bulkheads in front of the existing bulkheads. This removal and placement of material will create areas of uninhabited structure allowing pioneer type species, or rapidly reproducing species, to colonize the area. Invasive species can be considered as pioneer species and when these species are allowed to colonize an uninhabited area they generally create an area of invasive species monoculture and lower species diversity, and prevent successional colonization by native organisms.
However, previous history of dredging and recovery of the dredged slip and replacement of bulkhead has not shown this trend of colonization by invasive species.
This historic trend is expected to continue into the future.
• Project equipment used (i.e. dredges, tender vessels, dump-trucks, backhoes, etc.) has the potential to introduce invasive species into the project area as the equipment is moved from the previous construction site to the CGC HUDSON’s berth project area by the dredging contractor. The path of introduction caused by project equipment is the equipment being transported from one job site to another without equipment undergoing pre and post project de-contamination.
This project will use several methods to ensure compliance with the spirit of E.O. 13112, the CECW-ZA USACE Invasive Species Policy, and the USACE DRAFT CESAJ-SOP for Incorporating Invasive Species Management into the Civil Works Projects. Methods used in this project which allow compliance with E.O. 11312 fall into one of four general methods; preventing invasive introduction or spread, detecting and responding to invasive introduction or spread, restoring native species, and promoting public education. This project will utilize a specific method to
comply with E.O. 13112 including:
• The topic of invasive species introductions from ballast water is a complex issue that, while it impacts this project, is an issue of such magnitude that it cannot be fully addressed in respect to any single project. Instead there is legislation dictating that ballast water be exchanged 200 miles off-shore (USCODE-2011-title16-chap67subchapII-sec 4712) to reduce the number of invasive organisms introduced into a port.
Also there is research being done into methods to treat ballast water to ensure that any invasive ballast hitch-hiker species are eradicated prior to releasing the ballast water (Gregg et al. 2009) this research expands from treating ballast water to investigating new ship designs that don’t have ballasts but instead continually pump in local water to balance the ships without transporting invasive species around the globe (Parsons and Kotonis 2007).
4.31.25 E.O. 13186, MIGRATORY BIRDS.
This Executive Order requires, among other things, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concerning migratory birds.
The Coast Guard has completed a MOU with USFWS for migratory bird protection dated October 10, 2014. USCG shall abide by the requirements of the MOU.
4.31.26 E.O. 13045, DISPARATE RISKS INVOLVING CHILDREN On April 21, 1997, the President of the United States issued Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The Executive Order mandates that each Federal agency make it a high priority to identify and assess environmental health risks and safety risks that may disproportionately affect children and ensure that its policies, programs, activities, and standards address disproportionate risks to children that result from environmental health risks or safety risks.
As the proposed action does not affect children disproportionately from other members of the population, the proposed action would not increase any environmental health or safety risks to children.
6.1 PUBLIC NOTICE AND FINAL EAUSCG applied for a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. A public Notice for this permit was announced by the USACE on December 18, 2014 and was open for 15 days. USCG will provide a Notice of Availability of the final EA/FONSI, consistent with USCG NEPA regulations and guidance.
6.2 AGENCY COORDINATION
The proposed project has been and will continue to be coordinated with the following agencies:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Florida State Clearinghouse, Florida State Historic Preservation Officer, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
All agency coordination letters are in Appendix B, and details concerning coordination with applicable agencies (NMFS, FWS, FLDEP, SHPO, USEPA) is found in Section 4.31 of this EA.
6.3 LIST OF RECIPIENTSA complete mailing list for the FONSI is included Appendix B.
6.4 COMMENTS RECEIVED AND RESPONSESNo comments were received on the USACE public notice for the dredging of the CGC HUDSON’s slip (M. Clouser, pers comm. 2015). No comments were received from USFWS during their review of the project. NMFS did not provide project specific comments beyond the reasonable and prudent measure included in the biological opinion.
NMFS - EFH Under the EFH consultation requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS provided three consultation recommendations. 1) The project shall include a compensatory mitigation plan describing how seagrass and coral impacts will be appropriately offset. 2) The project shall include a coral relocation plan that, at a minimum, describes relocation of scleractinian corals greater than or equal to 10 centimeters in diameter and octocorals from the genera Gorgonia, Eunicea, Plexaurella, Muricea and Pterogorgia. The plan shall describe the suitability of the receiving site in terms of water depths and physical conditions similar to those at the removal site and the absence of threats from development. The coral relocation plan shall describe methods for the relocation, monitoring of the relocated corals for a period of three years and assessment of relocation success with respect to acceptable performance measures. 3) The project shall include best management practices to avoid and minimize impacts to corals and seagrass habitats, including the use of staked turbidity curtains around the work areas and prohibiting staging, anchoring, mooring, and spudding of working barges and other associated vessels over seagrasses.
Reponses to NMFS were provided as required by the EFH regulations and are included in Appendix B. In Summary: 1) Compensatory mitigation for seagrasses was included in the EFH consultation and is construction of 0.50 acres of seagrasses at the Julia Tuttle Mitigation Area, as requested by Miami-Dade County DERM. Mitigation for corals smaller than 10cm in diameter, as well as all other associated species is not proposed for the project. 2) Scleractinian corals greater than or equal to 10cm in diameter will be relocated to the Miami Science Center.
Currently there are no in water artificial reefs available with capacity to absorb the corals, and the Port of Miami has requested that the corals not be moved to their rip rap to ensure sufficient space remains for future port projects that may require coral relocation. 3) The project will use appropriate best management practices when operating near seagrasses, however the use of staked turbidity curtains is not feasible due to the strong tidal currents in Meloy Channel.
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