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Winter 2023 - 2024

ManaSota-88 has requested a public hearing for the purpose of providing an opportunity for the public to comment on a proposed marina by Sunseeker Florida, Inc.

Sunseeker Florida seeks authorization to construct a 182 slip, 58,865 square foot floating dock marina facility in Charlotte Harbor.

Public comment on the proposed marina is open until October 25, 2023 and a public notice for the permit application has been posted at:

The specific reasons for requesting the public hearing are as follows:

1. The mitigation proposed by the applicant is inadequate and will most likely not be viable for some time after construction activities. Feeding grounds for several wading birds will be adversely impacted by the proposed marina.

2. The proposed marina facility will have unpermittable adverse cumulative impacts, as well as secondary impacts from boating activities such as: prop scars, hydrocarbon pollution, boat paints, and wildlife disturbance.

3. The applicant, Sunseeker Florida, has not provided reasonable assurances that the application is in compliance with EPA approved water quality standards with regard to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. It can be anticipated that dissolved oxygen water quality violations will likely occur during hot summer months. Boat-related contaminants are expected to worsen dissolved oxygen in the area and possibly add noxious amounts of undissolved oils and greases to the system.

4. Fish and invertebrate communities of the adjacent intertidal and subtidal areas are diverse, As stated in the public notice, The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemps Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), giant manta ray (Manta birostris) and smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) or its designated critical habitat.

5. A significant number of recreational boats are brought into Charlotte Harbor by winter visitors each year. The environmental impacts associated with this seasonal increase in the number of boats has not been adequately considered as part of the permit review process.

6. Significant damage previously done by improper boat operation threatens the long-term health of Charlotte Harbor. There is no need to permit a facility which will impair, injure, and pollute the water and the natural resources of the area directly, secondarily and cumulatively.

7. During the permit decision process, the Corps must evaluate the project in relation to the public interest. The public benefits and detriments of all factors relevant to each case are to be carefully evaluated and balanced. Relevant factors may include conservation, economics, esthetics, wetlands, cultural values, navigation, fish and wildlife values, water supply, water quality, and any other factors judged important to the needs and welfare of the people.

8. Charlotte Harbor constitutes navigable waters of the State over which the Department of Environmental Protection has dredge and fill permitting jurisdiction. The project is not exempt from these procedures. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has not decided on the permit.

9. The proposed dredging will result in resuspension of sediments. The increase in turbidity may adversely impact adjacent bottoms and contribute to adverse cumulative impacts of previous dredging and filling activities. Degradation of the biological integrity, transparency and turbidity of the immediate and adjacent area is anticipated.

10. The direct and secondary impacts of the proposed project will result in unpermittable adverse impacts which will violate water quality standards and will be contrary to the public interest. Reasonable assurances have not been provided that the project would not adversely affect the conservation of fish and wildlife, including endangered or threatened species, or their habitats or the marine productivity in the vicinity of the proposed marina.