Black Creek Marina
The Black Creek Marina project is located on Black Creek, a tributary of the St. Johns River, between Green Cove Springs and Orange Park, Florida. The project consists of the development of a full-service marina facility including 77 wet slips, 300 dry slips, fuel dock, and other marina amenities.
ESI performed a specific purpose survey of the project area to determine the presence, extent, and nature of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and other benthic resources. The survey was conducted following guidelines and methodologies established by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and the Clay County Manatee Protection Plan
Because of their importance as aquatic habitat for many species and as a forage source for the State and Federally protected West Indian manatee, SAV beds are a protected resource, and impacts to SAV beds for marina construction or boating activity must be considered and appropriately mitigated when planning, permitting, or constructing over-water facilities in their vicinity.
During the course of the study, ESI utilized global positing systems (GPS) to map the extents of SAV and emergent vegetation in the project area and conducted plot density estimates by species within the SAV beds. Additionally, because of the known intent of the project, ESI collected preliminary bathymetric information, mapped potential navigational hazards and existing submerged structures within the project vicinity, and conducted sediment grain size analysis to facilitate minor dredging activity. Based on the findings of the initial SAV survey, ESI was able to facilitate development of a site plan that minimized SAV impacts and received approval from FDEP and FWC. For minimal, unavoidable impacts to SAV, ESI formulated an innovative mitigation plan involving the removal of dilapidated pilings in the project area to facilitate re-establishment of SAV at these locations.