The New Bedford Harbor Development Commission is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with developing a new boating facility in New Bedford Harbor in New Bedford, Mass.
The New Bedford Harbor Development Commission proposes to develop a new boating facility in New Bedford Harbor at 216-228 MacArthur Drive in New Bedford between Tonneson Park on the New Bedford State Pier and Fisherman’s Wharf.
The project area was recently dredged during the New Bedford Phase III Navigational Dredge Project. The purpose of the project is to create a centralized vessel staging area for port security, support and commercial vessels. The boating facility would accommodate up to 16 vessels ranging in size from 20 to 35 feet in length.
The proposed project will impact approximately 0.25 acre of Essential Fish Habitat for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of open water with a muddy silt substrate. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding Essential Fish Habitat conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.
The application for the federal permit was filed by the New Bedford Harbor Development Commission with the Corps of Engineers 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.
Press Release, August 28, 2012; Image: epa