Published Sept. 9, 2014
Expiration date: 10/6/2014


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Norfolk District has prepared a draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) to supplement the 1975 and 1987 Environmental Assessments (EA) for restoring navigation to the Cape Charles City Harbor Federal Navigation Project as described below:

LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The Cape Charles City Harbor Federal Navigation Project is located in Cape Charles, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  Maintenance dredging of the Cape Charles City Harbor Federal Navigation Project includes dredging of the Cherrystone Bar and Inlet Channel, Cape Charles Harbor Basin, and Mud Creek Basin, and the Harbor of Refuge.  Two key changes have occurred since the maintenance dredging was last performed in October 1987.  In 2012, the Atlantic sturgeon (Acipense oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) was listed as a federally endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and its listing generates a need for an updated evaluation of potential impacts.  Secondly, the historical beach placement site, Beach Site B, is unavailable for dredged material placement this cycle due to multiple natural resources being located in the area.  While this site may be viable for use in the future, the current resources create too many constraints for the upcoming cycle.  Alternative overboard placement of dredged material at Wolftrap Alternate Placement Site (WTAPS) and Norfolk Ocean Disposal Site (NODS), beneficial use of dredged material for beach renourishment at Tangier or the Western shore of Virginia, and the beneficial use of dredged material for construction purposes at Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area (CIDMMA) and the Craney Island Eastward Expansion (CIEE) project have been evaluated for the placement of dredged material in the immediate maintenance dredging cycle and for future maintenance dredging cycles.

This SEA focuses on impacts likely to occur within the proposed area of dredging and placement of dredged material that were not analyzed in the previous EAs due to changes in the status of listed species and changes in the project’s scope. 


Under the requirements of Section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this proposed project constitutes a major Federal action, and an Environmental Assessment (EA) is therefore required. EAs were prepared pursuant to NEPA and its implementing regulations in 1975 and 1987.  The 1987 EA resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

The purpose of this SEA is to evaluate the direct and indirect impacts associated with the maintenance dredging and placement activities. This document identifies and evaluates the potential environmental, cultural resources, and socioeconomic effects associated with the Proposed Action.

The draft SEA was coordinated with the following:

  •   Town of Cape Charles
  •   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  •   U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
  •   U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  •   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  •   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency (USFWS)
  •   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  •   NOAA - National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  •   Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VDCR)
  •   Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ)
  •   Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
  •   Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR)
  •   Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
  •   Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC)

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment should be by email (Kristen.L.Scheler@usace.army.mil) or in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  CENAO-WR-OT (Scheler)), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on October 6, 2014.

PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY:  Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.

If you have any questions about this project, contact Kristen Scheler at Kristen.L.Scheler@usace.army.mil or call 757-201-7843.