JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, invites the public to provide comments on the draft Environmental Assessment and draft Finding of No Significant Impact for the Identification of Alternative Sand Sources for the Remaining Period of Federal Participation, Dade County Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection Project.
The Limited Reevaluation Report is available for informational purposes only. Both the Limited Reevaluation Report and the Environmental Assessment contain the same information regarding recommendations of the Corps. The Corps plan recommends utilizing sand from borrow sources in federal waters outside of Miami-Dade County, including one source in Martin County and one in St. Lucie County. The plan allows for upland sources to be used for smaller renourishment projects such as those with requirements of less than 200,000 cubic yards. Two small Miami-Dade County sand sources, Bakers Haulover Inlet ebb shoal and Lummus Park will continue to be used.
“One of our key objectives is to keep information transparent so our partners and the public are well-informed and engaged. These upcoming public meetings are part of this collaborative process, so we can present new information, answer questions and receive comments,” said Corps project manager Jason Harrah.
The public comment period on the draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact begins Friday, July 31 and closes Friday, October 2, 2015. To review the documents, and for more information on the project, go to http://bit.ly/SPPDC
The Corps will host three public meetings:
• Miami-Dade County: Tuesday, August 25, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.at the Miami Beach Commission Chambers, 1700 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139
• Martin County: Wednesday, August 26, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.at the Jupiter Island Commission Chambers, 2 Bridge Road, Hobe Sound, Florida, 33455
• St. Lucie County: Wednesday, September 2, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.at the St. Lucie County Commission Chambers - Roger Poitras Administration Annex, 2300 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, Florida, 34982
The meetings begin with sign-in and a poster session. Subject matter experts will be available to discuss project information and answer questions prior to the formal presentation at 6:45 p.m. Following the presentation, attendees who have filled out comment cards will have an opportunity to speak and provide their public comments. Subject matter experts will be available to answer questions following the formal portion of the meeting.
The public and agencies can submit written comments (referencing the draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact only) to DadeCountyBECComments@usace.army.mil or:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Planning and Policy Division, Environmental Branch
Attn: Terri Jordan-Sellers
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019
For questions concerning the draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact, contact Terri Jordan-Sellers at 904-232-1817 or Terri.Jordan-Sellers@usace.army.mil.
The Corps will address submitted remarks and questions at the meetings and in the Final Environmental Assessment.
Dade County officials requested federal assistance with shore erosion about 50 years ago, and Congress authorized the Corps of Engineers to construct the Dade County Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection Project in 1968.
The Dade County project provided for the placement of beach fill along 9.3-miles of shoreline extending from Bakers Haulover Inlet to Government Cut and along the 1.4-mile length of Haulover Beach Park located immediately north of Bakers Haulover Inlet. The 2.4-mile length of the Sunny Isles segment was added to the project in 1985 under a separate authorization.
All major sand sources offshore of Miami-Dade County have now been exhausted with the completion of the latest nourishment contract in the Bal Harbour area in 2014. The Corps and local andstate coastal officials estimate that an additional 3.6 million cubic yards of sand is needed for the remaining federal participation, which is ten years for the Government Cut to Baker’s Haulover Beach Park segment and 23 years for the Sunny Isles segment.Section 935 of theWater Resources Development Act of 1986 and a Congressional directive from 1999 indicate that the Corps can only use domestic sources of sand for renourishment of this project, unless domestic sources are not available for environmental or economic reasons. To utilize new sand sources, the Corps has to complete a Limited Reevaluation Report and Environmental Assessment with updated economics to justify the more distant and costly sand sources for the future.
NOTE TO MEDIA: A collaborative effort in 2012 between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the five southeast Florida counties (St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward and Dade), and the Corps of Engineers updated the Regional Sediment Management Plan. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection led the study effort with technical input from the Corps, and data provided by southeast Florida counties. Each county determined its sand need for federal and non-federal nourishment projects over the next 50 years. With a 55 percent contingency added to these needs, it was found that 174 million cubic yards of sediment are needed to support placement of planned, full-sized beach nourishment projects through 2062. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Corps carried out geotechnical investigations to locate additional beach-quality sand sources. With contingencies applied, it was found that 280 million cubic yards of sand exists offshore of southeast Florida that meet the criteria for sand placement on southeast Florida beaches. Currently known sediment resources for St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties exceed 50-year sediment needs by more than 100 million cubic yards.