Marine Advisory Committee Feburary meeting notes: "Reefs" - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 03-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default Marine Advisory Committee Feburary meeting notes: "Reefs"

For those who are interested, below is an excerpt from the Escambia County Marine Advisory Committee (MAC) Feburary 2011 meeting minutes:

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Casino Reef Site

Need to clarify that the ESA consultation regarding Gulf Sturgeon Critical Habitat is avoided. This is the most time-consuming and difficult to demonstrate. We will, as with all other artificial reef permitting, have to perform ESA consultations for impacts to protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, sturgeon, and sawfish.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) changed the permitting rules in 2010. Now reef permits for artificial reefs must be no greater than ¼ mile. Although this will reducethe size of the Casino Reef, it will eliminate the possibility that state agencies could request us to conduct studies to answer their questions, concerns, comments. For example, the Florida Coastal Zone Management Act would require Escambia County to demonstrate our proposal is consistent with a number of agencies’ requirements. These efforts could cost substantial permitting time and money. Therefore, Escambia County has modified our (FDEP) permit application to match the ¼ mile criterion. Because the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) requires a buffer to reef permit areas, our ACOE permit will reflect a larger area, to establish the buffer around the exterior of the ¼-mile site. This will eliminate the “effective loss” of reef construction area. Marine Resources Division (MRD) requests Marine Advisory Committee (MAC) deliberation on the issue prior to submission of permit applications.

Dave Mucci made a motion to accept the ¼ mile buffer to reef permit areas. William Myrick seconded the motion with all in favor and no one opposed.

Lane Gilchrist Reef
To date, seven deployments have been made, totaling approx. 7,000tons of concrete deck spans. Approximately 1,000 tons of deck spans remain to be deployed. Next demolition phase is removal of piling caps and pilings. Escambia County MRD has requested these materials be loaded so the piling caps can be deployed in the “gaps” of the Mayor Lane Gilchrist Reef. Some of the pilings will be deployed onto the 3 Barges Reef and the surrounding area, depending upon final seafloor configuration relative to Army Corps permit “reef height’ conditions.

Capt. Bob Quarles Reef
Capt Bob Quarles Reef; phase 2 construction, is underway. Coast Reef Builders, Inc. was awarded the contract to deploy 120 tons of the GBFB concrete deck spans, which will be crane-lowered onto the previously- deployed BP concrete. Extreme care will be taken to ensure compliance with reef height permit conditions. Hopefully we will have some nice ledge habitat.

Gulf Snorkeling Reef
Dave Walter still has his vessel in the shipyard. No change in status from the last update.

Bay Snorkeling Reef
This is ready to go and a purchase order went out today. Two bids, one from Walter Marine, Inc. $68,000.00 and one from Coastal Reef Builders, Inc for $18,000.00. The deployment of 49 pre-fabricated concrete reef balls will begin as soon as they finish the phase 2 construction of the Bob Quarles Bay Reef Phase 2.

Escambia County’s permit applications for Inshore Reefs (Snorkeling Reefs, Bay Reefs, etc.) included proposed signage. This was done to indicate we had considered all issues related to the reefs, and hopefully avoid onerous requirements from being imposed by state or federal agencies. Subsequent permitting and communications with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) and US Coast Guard (USCG) reveals they do not require signage for the reef sites because they are compliant with depth limitations, they are noticed and charted for mariners, etc. Escambia County Marine Resources Division (MRD) has consulted with Escambia County Risk Management, FWC, and USCG and recommended the Bay Snorkeling Reef be marked with informational signage indicating the reef area. The signs will be placed on each corner and be visible from all approaching directions. The distance between signs will be approx. 70 feet. This, combined with the close proximity of shoreline, and the state law requiring dive flags, should provide reasonable safety for users.

Perdido Key Gulf Snorkeling Reef

Eilene Beard spoke about the Perdido Key Gulf Snorkeling Reef to keep it in the minutes. Robert Turpin stated applications in the works but we have not had requests for additional information so, at this time it is on hold.


Oriskany Monitoring Grant 2011-2012
Escambia County will be submitting another monitoring grant application to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for approx $50,000 to fund the FEPA-required monitoring of Oriskany fish samples. MAC support provides extra points in FWC’s funding determinations.

William Myrick made a motion to support the Oriskany Monitoring Grant 2011 -2012 with Walt Woodfin seconding the motion. All were in favor and no one opposed the motion.

Joint Santa Rosa-Escambia County Artificial Reef Construction Grant Proposal
Under existing Interlocal Agreement, Santa Rosa County may apply for a grant from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation to construct artificial reefs in Escambia County’s permitted artificial reef sites. Conversations with Santa Rosa County Marine Advisory Committee chairman, Mr. Jeff Marker, indicate willingness of Santa Rosa County to prepare and submit a grant proposal. Moreover, matching funds will greatly increase probability of obtaining grant awards. Santa Rosa County proposes each county commit $5,000 for a total cash match of $10,000, with a request for an additional $30,000 from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The following is an email from Mr. Marker:
“Hello Escambia Cty MAC board members,

Be advised that the SRC MAC has approved matching a $5000 match from Escambia Cty to apply for a reef grant through the State of Fl and the Federal Sportfish Restoration program for a total of $10,000 in matching funds. Hopefully this will give us a better chance at getting the 3-1 match for a $40,000 Reef project in our nearshore zone. While it has not yet processed through the SRC BOCC, I do not see any problems on the horizon.

Chairman Lynchard supports the project, and our County Administrator, Hunter Walker supports the project as well. Once we have an agreement in principle, SRC will make the application and submit it to the BOCC for a resolution. I will be sure to follow it through the process.

Thanks for your hard work, and it is a pleasure to assist in these joint venture opportunities that benefit both County's constituents. It's a win win for everyone!

Jeff Marker
Chair
Santa Rosa County MAC”


A motion was made by Walt Woodfin to support the Joint Santa Rosa-Escambia County Artificial Reef Construction Grant Proposal. Gene Ferguson seconded the motion with all in favor and no one opposed.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info!!!
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
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Wirelessly posted

Casino and sweaten up three barges sounds like a great idea.
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