PUBLIC NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
FOR COASTAL WETLANDS PERMIT
AND WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION
The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) will conduct a public hearing regarding the below-referenced permit application by Harrison County Government on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bolton State Office Building, located at 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi. This hearing is a part of the required justification for Harrison County’s requested variances to the Guidelines for Regulated Activities in the Mississippi Coastal Program and will provide the opportunity for the community to submit comments concerning the proposed project and the requested variances, which are described below. The hearing is not a question-and-answer session, however the applicant or a representative may make a brief presentation of the project at the opening of the hearing.
Harrison County Government has filed an application with the Department of Marine Resources requesting permission to conduct regulated activities under the provision of the Coastal Wetlands Protection Act, Title 49, Chapter 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.
The applicant is proposing to construct a public boat ramp and to dredge 75,000 cubic yards of material to create a queuing basin and restore an existing channel in the Mississippi Sound. The applicant is proposing to place dredge material on the sand beach in Biloxi, Mississippi. The project components include two boat ramps, each 32 feet wide by 90 feet long; three finger piers along the boat ramps, each 7 feet wide by 110 feet long; 80 feet of bulkhead connecting the boat ramps to a proposed rock jetty and the existing rock jetty; and a parking lot constructed on the sand beach. The proposed rock jetty will measure 1,032.3 feet in length, with a base width of 36 feet and a top width of 6 feet. The construction of the parking lot will require fill of 52,898 square feet of Coastal Wetlands currently consisting of sand beach and dune vegetation. Mitigation for some impacts may be required. The project is located on the Mississippi Sound on Beach Boulevard near Camilla Street, Biloxi, Harrison County, MS.
The applicant has requested variances to MDMR’s Guidelines for Regulated Activities, specifically to Chapter 8, Section 2, Part III.O.1. of the Mississippi Coastal Program (MCP) which states, “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is discouraged” and Chapter 8, Section 2, Part III.B.3. of the MCP which states, “Fill for boat ramp surfaces shall be a minimum necessary to meet project requirements and shall not exceed 100-cubic yards of fill material (concrete, shell, etc.)”
The applicant has justified these requests under Chapter 8, Section 2, Part I.E.2.c.iv. of the MCP by stating that, “the activity requires a waterfront location, there is a significant public benefit in the activity, and a public hearing will be held.”
This public notice, project diagrams, and a copy of the full project application may be accessed on MDMR’s website at. https://dmr.ms.gov/index.php/coastal-resources-management/wetland-permitting. A copy can also be mailed upon request.
In compliance with Section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, 1341), as amended by PL 95-217, the applicant will request certification from the Office of Pollution Control that the above mentioned activity will be in compliance with applicable provisions of Section 301 (33 U.S.C. 1311), Section 302 (33 U.S.C. 1312), Section 303 (U.S.C. 1313), Section 306 (U.S.C. 1316), and Section 307 (U.S.C. 1317) of the Act and appropriate requirements of the State Law.