SHARECOMMENTMORE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A possible plan from the Navy could bring up to 14combat ships to Mayport. The possible move could bring as many as 3,600 sailors and theirfamilies to Jacksonville. It could all happen within the next six years. More people could mean more jobs for the area. But there could also be an environmental impact.

The Navy is studying what it would mean for the environment. Leaders are considering either relocating the ships to Naval Station Mayport or Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

The extra ships would mean an additional 1,700 personnel and about 1,900 family members to the area that the Navy designates as the ship's new home.

The Navy has not made any final decisions yet, but according to a news release, the Navy's preferred alternative is to homeport the initial East Coast Littoral Combat Ships at Mayport.

According to the Navy, the ships provide war fighting capabilities. They are designed to operate in shallow coastal waters, and can function in depths of less than 20 feet.

The Navy will allow public review and comment of the environmental assessment until March 29. We reached out to Mayport today, but no one was available for comment.

This is from the U.S. Navynews release:

"This Draft EA will be available for a 30-day public review and comment period until March 29, 2013, and can be accessed at the following website: https://portal.navfac.navy.mil/portal/page/portal/navfac/navfac_ww_pp/navfac_navfacmidlant_pp/midlant_ps/environmental_norfolk/tab3987837.

Paper copies of the Draft EA are available for review at the following libraries:

• Beaches Branch Library, 600 3rd St., Neptune Beach, Fla.
• Jacksonville Main Library, 303 N Laura St. Jacksonville, Fla.
• St. Marys Public Library, 100 Herb Bauer Drive, St. Marys, Ga.
• Havelock-Craven County Public Library, 301 Cunningham Blvd., Havelock, N.C.
• Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Library, 111 W. Ocean View Ave., Norfolk, Va.
• Meyera Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va.

Comments may be submitted in writing to: LCS Homeporting EA Project Manager; Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic; Attn: Code EV21/SS 6506 Hampton Blvd. Norfolk, Va., or via e-mail using the following address: navfaclantpao@navy.mil. Comments must be postmarked no later than March 29, 2012, and should be as specific as possible."