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The Army Corp is at it again & it's not good!

Author: Heather L. Mazurkiewicz
Written On: Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Over the course of the last year the CCCIA and the City of Cape Coral have been meeting with agencies like the Army Corp of Engineers to work together to develop a solution to continue to issue seawall permits and other marine improvements over the counter with maybe a one or two day review time. The City has worked under a blanket permit for the past five years, a permit that expires this Friday. In a meeting a few weeks ago we were assured this blanket permit would be extended as we continued to work together toward a solution.
At 11:24am yesterday morning we received the following email:
The Corps is deeply appreciative of the outstanding collaboration between all parties as we attempt to gather enough information to address the concerns related to the critical habitat for the Federally endangered smalltooth sawfish. The Corps had hoped to administratively extend SAJ-91 while we continued the coordination efforts with NMFS. However, we will not be able to extend SAJ-91 because we do not have an existing Biological Opinion from NMFS for the previous issuance of SAJ-91. Critical habitat was listed after the original issuance of SAJ-91. My personal apologies for any past miscommunication on the possible extension of SAJ-91. After Friday, the Corps will have to review any applications that would have been authorized under SAJ-91 until formal consultation can be concluded for smalltooth sawfish critical habitat. I have attached a fact sheet outlining the issues for all concerned. The Corps looks forward to working with all parties to conclude consultation as quickly as possible.

As you can imagine we are very disturbed by this email and are working diligently with Congressman Connie Mack, Senator Rubio, Congressional Candidate Trey Radel, Senator LizBeth Benaquisto, Representative Matt Caldwell and all of our local media outlets to persuade the Army Corp & National Marine Fisheries to extend the permit and allow construction in Cape Coral to continue. We will keep you in formed and should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at 239-470-2478.