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SAJ-1964-00151(SP-LCK)

Posted: 12/13/2017

Expiration date: 1/12/2018


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:

APPLICANT: Hillsboro Inlet District
                      C/o Jack Holland
                      907 Hillsboro Mile
                      Hillsboro Beach, FL 33062

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Hillsboro Inlet between the waters of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. The project site is located at the jetty located along the south side of the Hillsboro Inlet, Pompano Beach ( Section 29, Township 48 South, Range 43 East), offshore of Broward County Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 to E Copans Road in Pompano Beach (Exit 38a), Continue on Copans Road East until you reach Federal Highway then take a right on Federal Highway, Left on NE 14th Street, Left after the Causeway onto A1A, Right onto NE 16th Street and park at North Ocean Park (3424 NE 16th Street, Pompano Beach, FL 33062). Walk onto beach through access way, turn left and walk until you reach the Hillsboro Inlet South Jetty.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:

Latitude:      26.2578°
Longitude: –80.0817°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is to repair and replace an existing jetty to prevent the return of sand into an existing inlet.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to repair and replace an existing jetty located in Hillsboro Inlet in order to continue to prevent the return of sand into the inlet from the south beach.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: There is an existing 420 linear foot jetty that is 17-feet wide and 3-feet tall (elevation +4 NGVD), composed of two parallel rows of 12-inch square concrete piles (122 in each row) tied together with 12-inch timber beams. The southern face of the jetty includes 118 concrete panels (3.4-feet by 4-inches) between the piles which act as a sediment barrier. The interior of the crib is filled with limestone boulders and the outside of the jetty is protected by 2,850 cy of limestone boulders, 2 to 4 tons in size. The total acreage of the jetty is 0.36 acre.

A resource survey was conducted in August 2017. The onsite vegetation consists of turf algae. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of large limestone boulders, intermixed with some smaller limestone rocks, which transitioned to beach quality sand, with several limestone rocks that have spread out away from the jetty. Seagrass was not observed growing in the substrate adjacent to the jetty. The limestone boulders surrounding the jetty are populated by hydroids, white encrusting zoanthids (Palythoa caribaeorum), red boring sponges (Cliona delitrix), turf algae and three species of scleractinian corals (Siderastrea siderea, Siderastrea radians and Phyllangia americana americana). A total of 138 corals, mostly lesser starlet corals (S. radians) and massive starlet corals (S. siderea) ranging in diameter from 1 to 19 cm, as well as two colonies of hidden cup corals (P. americana americana) with diameters of 2 and 6 cm., were observed along the jetty. The majority of the corals were observed along the southern side of the jetty (93 corals) with only 42 corals on the northern side. Only 2 corals were observed along the east end and 1 coral on the west end of the Jetty. More than half the corals observed (71 corals) were smaller than 5 cm and 66 corals were greater than or equal to 5 cm in diameter (Coral #4 was dead at time of survey and not counted).

Project History: The Corps issued a permit dated May 7, 1964, that authorized the construction of a jetty in Hillsboro Inlet, southwesterly side.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to repair and replace a 420 linear foot jetty located along the south side of the Hillsboro Inlet by performing the following activities: Reuse the inner row of concrete piles of the existing jetty structure as a foundation for the restored Jetty. The outer row of 121 concrete piles of the existing jetty will be cut off to 6 inches below mean low water level elevation and abandoned. The existing inner row of 121 concrete pilings will be saw-cut approximately 2 feet below grade, to expose the sound portion of the piles, and rebar will be doweled into the remaining concrete pile. A 32-inch wide by 5.6-foot tall concrete cap will be cast-in-place along the length of the 420-foot jetty, with the concrete piles embedded 9 inches minimum into the cap. The existing concrete panels and king piles will remain in place. The existing 2,850 c.y of armor stone will be re-configured and 950 c.y. (0.14 acres) of new limestone boulders will be sized and placed on both sides of the cap (in a 3:1 slope), and extend approximately for optimum stability and protection 2-10 feet from the existing footprint. The total area of the proposed jetty and limestone is approximately 0.50 acres.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment: Construction will occur from an in-water barge, maintaining a minimum of one-foot draft clearance between the bottom of the fully loaded barge and the substrate. The equipment on the barge will most likely include an excavator, crane and concrete truck/pump. Approximately 2-3 barges will be used and rotated during the concrete pour. All construction debris will be placed on the barge and transported by barge to the upland staging area and disposed of in an approved upland disposal site.

Turbidity curtains will be in place around active construction areas which will serve as a physical barrier to manatees, smalltooth sawfish and sea turtles as well as to prevent turbid waters from exiting the turbidity structure. Temporary 8-inch wood piles will be installed to support the turbidity curtains around the existing jetty. The 8-inch piles will be installed with a drop punch that is gravity-dropped from a barge mounted crane to create a hole to install the wood pile. The marine resource survey of the jetty did not indicate the presence of listed species of corals or Johnsons seagrass. Turbidity curtains around the jetty should minimize the potential for sedimentation or turbidity impacts to any sensitive benthic resources in the surrounding area. Additionally, the contractor will comply with all applicable boating zones and follow the protocols set forth in the FWC’s 2011 Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work and the NMFS Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions dated March 23, 2006.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION –The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:

The restoration of the south jetty involves the repositioning of existing limestone boulders surrounding the jetty and the addition of approximately 950 cy of new boulders. As a result, the Project may result in direct (burial, crushing) or indirect (sedimentation) impacts to the 137 stony corals observed growing on the limestone boulders. In light of the 3-year long disease event that has reduced the number of corals by approximately 50%, the decision was made to relocate corals > 5cm rather than limiting the relocation to only the more common standard of corals equal to or greater than 10 cm. Only 16 corals are equal to or greater than 10 cm. Sixty six corals > 5cm will be transplanted to the existing Hillsboro Inlet artificial reef located approximately 157 feet (48 meters) south of the south jetty, prior to construction activities at the jetty. Monitoring of the corals will be conducted immediately following transplantation, at 1-month and at 1-year to ensure that at least 75% of the transplanted corals survive. If, at the end of the 1-Year Post-Transplantation monitoring survey, 75% of the transplanted corals have not survived, the Hillsboro Inlet District will discuss the need for further monitoring or mitigation with the regulatory agencies.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:

The Corps has determined the proposal may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian Manatee or its designated critical habitat. The Corps evaluated potential project related effects to the manatee by using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, (Key) dated April 2013. Using the Key, A>B>C>G> N>O>P couplet 4, resulted in a “May Affect Not Likely to Adversely Affect” determination. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has given programmatic concurrence with this determination and no further coordination is required.

The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the threatened and endangered swimming sea turtles; loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and the threatened smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and would not adversely modify any of their designated critical habitat. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The proposal would impact approximately 0.50 acres of unvegetated habitat that is utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program. The jurisdictional line has been verified by Corps personnel.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Ms. Linda C. Knoeck Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410, within 21 days from the date of this notice.

The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.

QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Ms. Linda C. Knoeck, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410; by electronic mail at Linda.C.Knoeck@usace.army.mil; or by telephone at (561) 472-3531.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area.

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food, and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other Interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board. In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.

Broward County Jacksonville District permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE