An Update on the Proposed Coral Bay Marina

coral bay overlook

The Summer’s End Group was recently asked to resubmit its Army Corps application for the proposed marina in Coral Bay. Here is the latest from our friends over at Save Coral Bay:

IN A NUTSHELL …

The Summers End Group (SEG) has been forced to resubmit their Army Corps permit application because the previous application has been determined to be incomplete. In March the US Fish and Wildlife Service rescinded the grant that had been given to SEG. The Army Corps then became the lead agency and they reviewed the application, requested a new submission from SEG, and will publish a new Public Notice. At that time we will most likely need to resubmit our comment letters. What did SEG change in their “new” application? Virtually nothing, except they totally removed the 75 position mooring field. It’s still the same environmentally destructive mega marina on 1,333 steel pilings, covering 28 acres of Coral Bay. So when the time comes we will need to find the comment letters we sent in January and resubmit them. Instructions to follow …

THE FULL STORY …

You remember this past January and February when we submitted thousands of letters in opposition to the Summers End Group mega marina plans. You remember that five federal agencies voiced strong objections to the SEG plans. And in March the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rescinded the federal grant that had previously been awarded to SEG.

Last year, when SEG filed their Army Corps permit application, the FWS was still on the record as having awarded a funding grant to SEG. According to federal regulations FWS, as a funding agency, thereby became the “lead agency” in the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) review of the Army Corps permit. However, when FWS pulled the plug on the grant in March, they lost that lead agency status and the project came back to the Army Corps of Engineers as lead agency.

The first thing the Corps did was assign a new project manager to the permit review. The first thing the new project manager did was take a fresh look at the permit application and he concluded that it had multiple deficiencies and was “incomplete”. He told SEG that they needed to correct those deficiencies and submit a new permit application. That all happened in April.

Last week we received a copy of the “new” permit application submitted to the Army Corps by SEG. It is virtually identical to the original plan with a few exceptions. First, they have removed the “mooring field” that was never adequately described or designed in the original plan. They’ve made no changes whatsoever to the 145 slip mega marina. They’ve included a description of the land-based project components in the application. Based on these changes the Corps is now preparing a new “Public Notice” announcing a new Public Comment Period. The notice could be published as soon as this week.

Clearly, the “new application” does not address any of the major flaws identified by our group and all the federal agencies.

What does all of this mean? Basically, SEG has been forced back to square one in their Army Corps permit application process. This gives us an opportunity to update our comments, if necessary. There’s nothing to do right now, and I will keep everyone informed as soon as any new information surfaces. We all know the drill – when the time comes, if necessary, we will send in our comment letters and get the job done. Our lawyers will be all over the case with our formal comments, revised to reflect any changes in the application.

All of the prior federal agency comments are in the public record and since Summers End has not addressed any of the issues raised in those comments, they are still perfectly valid. The designation of all of Coral Bay as an “Aquatic Resource of National Importance (ARNI)” still holds and provides the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to veto any Army Corps permit which does not address the concerns of the EPA.

So this is just another part of the process, ensuring a “by the book” review of the SEG permit application – a little extra work for us, but a lot of additional time, delay and expense for SEG – none of which they have to spare.

-Save Coral Bay





15 comments for “An Update on the Proposed Coral Bay Marina

  1. jimg20
    July 9, 2015 at 8:47 am

    This has gone on long enough. We need to drive a wooden stake into this project’s heart. Please find the letter you wrote last time, review it, edit it, and have it ready to send. On the day that the public comment period opens, we need to send ALL of our letters. They were overwhelmed by the 6,000 or so letters they got over the six week comment period last time. How do you think they will react to getting 6,000 letters in the same week? My letter is ready. It just needs an address to send it on.

    • Topper
      July 9, 2015 at 10:55 am

      I guess I could do a letter–I do pay property taxes in St. John, even though I’m not a resident. Right? Could you post the info on where the letter would be sent? Thanks!

      • jimg20
        July 9, 2015 at 1:27 pm

        Whether you are a resident of Coral Bay, St John or anywhere in the US, you have a right to protest the destruction of a national monument. The Coral Reef National Monument belongs to the people of the United States. People like those who are making this application do not have the unfettered right to build whatever they want wherever they like. Through our Federal government, we have asked the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA to watch over these public properties. They need to hear from you. It they don’t hear from you they might approve this application. Your letter can and history tells us will make a difference. It doesn’t have to be a 50 page white paper on the subject. A single page of well thought out ideas will be just as effective.

      • Joan
        July 10, 2015 at 9:13 am

        You don’t need to live on St, John or own property here to write a letter. Many of the letters last time were written by vacationers that love Coral Bay the way it is.

        I’ll post the address when I get it.

  2. Kelsea
    July 9, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Where do we send our letter to?

  3. Margy
    July 9, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Keep donating! This can not happen.

  4. Jan Binder
    July 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Regarding proposed marina in Coral Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I…..These waters were set aside as a national monument and protected as such from development. This proposed marina would destroy that in time. I ask that this proposal be declined as not in the interest of the people of St. John or the U.S.A. Thank you!

  5. Joan
    July 10, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Here is the link to the Army Corp notice.
    http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx

    The marina project is the first on list today since list is by date of issue. to see the drawings

    From this page you can go to the narrative or the graphis.

    Still can’t find the adddress. When you write your letter please include a request for a public meeting. Thank you.

    • jimg20
      July 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

      I looks for it using your link, and I couldn’t find it. I went all the way back into June.

  6. Bill Hoffman
    July 10, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Here’s the info on where to send letters. From Coral Bay Community Council email in January:

    Please take the time to read the information in the link below and consider whether you would like to write a letter. As you know, the Coral Bay Community Council has presented much information in opposition to the plan for this marina during the local permitting process. CBCC will be reiterating and strengthening these comments in the Army Corps process. Your voice, and your neighbors’ voices, are important input to this review process whatever your opinion. So please take the time to write a letter – with your own observations and concerns.
    More information – and where to email/send it — is here: http://savecoralbay.com/army-corps-comment

    • Joan
      July 10, 2015 at 10:50 am

      The current info on the savecoralbay.com website is the project number and address for submission of comments for the first ACE notice.

      This new notice has a slightly different project number and may have a different person to send to.

      The SCB web master is working to get everything updated in a very short period of time. Give it a couple of days for the dust to settle. You have till August 24 to submit your comments.

    • jimg20
      July 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

      You cannot use the January address. It is a new application and the project changed agencies. We have to wait for the new project number and agency address to use.

  7. jimg20
    July 10, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    The new response directions are available on savecoralbay.com The link to the directions is

    http://savecoralbay.com/new-public-comment-period/

    Please revise your letter that you sent in earlier this year and send it in ASAP. I would love to flood them with letters in the first week.

  8. Chelsea
    July 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    This project is as good as done. Toastado. These pricks are messing with the wrong island. Hasta luego, Johnny come latelies. Sayonara

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