Fairfield seeks permit to replenish beaches

The Town of Fairfield is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with constructing engineered beaches in Fairfield.

This work is proposed in Long Island Sound at the following locations in Fairfield: Southport Beach (1505 Pequot Avenue); South Pine Creek Beach (Terminus of South Pine Creek Road); Penfield Beach (323 Fairfield Beach Road); Sasco Beach (1401 Sasco Hill Road); and Jennings Beach (880 South Benson Road).

The proposed work involves the placement of excavated and possibly nourishment material below the high tide line of Long Island Sound in order to construct engineered beaches at these locations in order to retain the recreational beach on site in response to on-going erosion and storm resiliency. Proposed work includes the grading and scraping of the beach from the mean low water mark to the high tide line in order to maintain the designed beach profile at each location.

Grading will be performed using a backhoe loader and bulldozer as required. In the event that additional material is required to maintain the beaches, the Town is requesting a 10-year permit which would allow the Town to nourish the beaches in order to maintain the beach profile. The Town is proposing the placement of 500 cubic yards of sandy material at Southport Beach, 500 cubic yards at South Pine Creek Beach, 700 cubic yards at Penfield Beach, 500 cubic yards at Sasco Beach, and 1,300 cubic yards at Jennings Beach. Beach profiles will be monitored each year to assess the need for nourishment at each location.

This proposed project will impact 6.96 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) which consists of sand and cobble substrate. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect species that use these waters and substrate. However, 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.

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the U.S.; and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the Town of Fairfield, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.

Public comments on this work proposed by the Town of Fairfield (file # NAE-2018-00390) should be forwarded no later than July 5, 2018to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Joshua Helms), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Joshua Helms at 978-318-8211 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: [email protected]

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