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Title: Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact : Maintenance Dredging of the McGriff Channel at Suwannee River : Dixie County, Florida
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Keywords: Suwannee River (Ga. and Fla.)
Dredging spoil
Environmental management
Environmental protection
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Abstract: The federal action evaluated in this document is periodic maintenance dredging of McGriff Channel (also known as Wadley Pass) within the Suwannee River, within the Congressionally authorized project, consistent with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations that define federal actions to include those actions “subject to federal control and responsibility”. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is the federal agency proposing to maintain the 3.5-mile long, 75-ft wide channel to ensure safe and operable navigation to a depth of five feet plus one foot of overdepth Mean Lower Low Water Level (MLLW). Additionally, the last performed maintenance dredging of the channel was performed by the Suwannee River Authority in 1962 and in 1986. Shoaling of the McGriff Channel has restricted vessel movement in the channel, particularly during low tides. During spring tides, it is necessary for many boats to pass the shallows “on plane”; meaning accelerating until the front of the boat is in the air. At particularly low tides, as when tides are wind-driven, the channel is impassable by a majority of boats of the area. This has created a potential safety hazard by preventing boats from reaching safe harbor during adverse weather. The small community of Suwannee, located at the mouth of the Suwannee River, is dependent on water access to the lower reaches of the river and the Gulf of Mexico. There are two active marinas in the community that provide berthing and storage of boats for residents and visitors. Recreational and commercial fishing, light tourism, and boating are the mainstays of the community economy. The purpose of the project is to restore the channel depth and width at McGriff Channel for safe and efficient navigation throughout the length of the Suwannee River federal navigation project. The project is needed to improve access through the elimination of shoals, which would improve navigation safety, facilitate expansion of recreation and tourism, and contribute to maintaining the economy of the community. Opportunities exist for beneficial uses of the dredged material. Cat Island, considered for beneficial placement of dredged material, has experienced considerable shoreline erosion. Unique biological communities and significant archaeological deposits on the island have been affected by the erosion. There is an opportunity to use the dredged material to restore the historic shoreline and prevent further loss of natural and cultural resources. In addition, there is an opportunity to beneficially use the dredged material to restore the beach that has been lost in recent decades due to erosion and sea level rise to create approximately ten acres of bird habitat on Cat Island.
Description: Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Appears in Collections:Environmental Documents

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