Manchester Marine Corporation and Sunset Rock, LLC, are seeking permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with dredging and disposal of dredge material for their marinas in Manchester, Mass.
The Corps has received separate permit applications from a number of private owners and from the town of Manchester to dredge in waters of Manchester Harbor.
In addition to the town, there are two marinas and a number of private dock owners seeking to dredge. The Corps is seeking public comment on permit applications of the two marinas. Other applications are being handled separately since the applications meet different criteria.
Manchester Marine Corporation, at 17 Ashland Avenue, and Sunset Rock, LLC, at 12 Ashland Avenue, in Manchester, also are seeking approval to retain 12 existing unauthorized commercial moorings. The dredging at these two marinas is to provide adequate water depths for existing docks and to allow for safe vessel dockage and navigational access to and from the harbor.
Manchester Marine Corporation proposes to dredge 5,238 cubic yards of material. Sunset Rock, LLC proposes to dredge 946 cubic yards of material. The dredged material will be disposed of in the ocean at the Massachusetts Bay Disposal Site, located 12 nautical miles southeast of Gales Point, Mass.
Dredging will impact about 54,827 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. Habitat at these sites can be described as intertidal and subtidal sand and silt.
Loss of this habitat may adversely affect prey species during dredging, but the area is likely to recolonize quickly so any loss will be temporary.
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 EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.