The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District opens public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the operation and maintenance dredging of the Okeechobee Waterway (OWW) from the intersection of the OWW and the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW), locally known as the Crossroads, to the St. Lucie Lock and Dam in Martin County, Florida. Public comment will be accepted through July 15, 2020.
The Draft EA and proposed FONSI for the operation and maintenance dredging of the Okeechobee Waterway (OWW) from the Crossroads to the St. Lucie Lock and Dam are available for review at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/OWWCrossroads-St.Lucie.
The Corps will accept written comments through July 15, 2020 via email to Michael.Ornella@usace.army.mil (recommended subject line: "OWW dredging Crossroads-St. Lucie Draft EA Comments").
“Maintaining safe navigation on federal waterways is one of the Corps’ key missions,” said Ashleigh Fountain, Project Manager. “Accumulation of sediment has limited the navigable capacity in the project channel. Removal of the shoaled material to the authorized and previously constructed depths would improve the navigable capacity of the project channel and be safer for boaters.”
The project has two components: operation and maintenance (O&M) dredging and placement of dredged material into a constructed dredged material management area (DMMA).
The Preferred Alternative consists of dredging and placement of dredged material into the previously constructed dredged material management area (DMMA) O-7 or the O-23, pending construction, depending upon the dredge locations and availability of the DMMA. Material from the dredged locations will be pumped, via pipeline, to the DMMA, dewatered, and water returned to the waterway.
The Corps incorporated all practicable means to avoid and minimize adverse environmental effects into the recommended plan and will implement the environmental commitments detailed in the EA to minimize impacts.
This DRAFT EA evaluates the operation and maintenance dredging of Reach I, II, III, and IV, spanning approximately 15.5 miles of the OWW with placement of dredged material into the previously authorized and constructed Dredged Material Management Area (DMMA) O-7, or within DMMA O-23, pending construction. DMMA O-7 is located approximately 2,344 feet west of the St. Lucie Lock and Dam. DMMA O-23 is located to the south of 1310 NE Business Park Place, approximately 0.55 miles north of the OWW shoreline. The federal channel would be maintained to its authorized dimensions: 8 feet below Mean Low Water (-8 ft MLW), plus 2 feet overdepth, by 80 feet. The current estimate for removal of material within the channel is 42,000 cubic yards for Reach III and 31,000 cubic yards for Reach IV. The removal volumes for Reaches I and II will be located, calculated, and designed at a later time, as funding allows.
For additional information, visit the Okeechobee Waterway Dredging – Crossroads to St. Lucie page at www.saj.usace.army.mil/OWWCrossroads-StLucie.