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: US Air Force, 45th Space Wing
Attn: Patrick Giniewski
1224 Jupiter St.
Patrick Air Force Base, Florida 32925
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Banana River. The project site is located along 800 feet of the Banana River shoreline, west of Rescue Road at the west end of Runway 11, in Section 10, Township 26 South, Range 37 East, Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB), Brevard County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Work occurs within PAFB.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 28.2425°
Basic: Shoreline stabilization.
Overall: Restore an eroded shoreline by armoring the existing shoreline with riprap, install a 800 linear foot additional breakwater barrier (living shoreline) waterward of the existing shoreline, and plant native marsh grasses between the existing shoreline and breakwater at the west end of Runway 11, PAFB.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The subject shoreline at PAFB has eroded significantly during the past 20 years and more than 100 feet of loss occurred since 2009. Heavy wind and wave action continues to erode PAFB land, and the shoreline is now 30 feet from the edge of Rescue Road at its closest and 230 feet from the edge of Runway 11. A portion of the shoreline is armored with riprap to protect an underground sewer pipe exposed by high waves in 2014, with the rest unarmored. Benthic conditions are described as sand with shell and rock scattered along the river bottom. A fluctuating area of approximately 200-400 square feet of small patches of shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) were identified within the project footprint. The shoreline supports a total of approximately 30 linear feet of mangrove shoreline including 5-6 red mangrove seedlings and 20 white mangroves.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to restore an eroded shoreline by armoring the existing shoreline with 490 linear feet of riprap, installing a 780 linear foot breakwater barrier (living shoreline) waterward of the existing shoreline, discharging clean fill material into wetlands and waters to reshape the shoreline, and planting native marsh grasses between the existing shoreline and breakwater.
1. Riprap for the shoreline stabilization will be installed using a backhoe or long-arm
excavator from the shoreline.
2. The riprap breakwater will be installed by a barge-mounted backhoe or land-based crane and will be staggered with gaps to allow water flow and species movement. The breakwaters will consist of 70-foot (ft) sections with 5-ft gaps and will have 15-ft sections placed behind each gap opening.
3. The area between the shoreline riprap and breakwaters will be graded with a bulldozer or backhoe and then planted with marsh grasses by hand.
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: Only minimum distance into water for required erosion protection of shoreline is proposed. Shoreline protection is designed to prevent future erosion, area of work is within previous limits of land so no impacts to navigation. Work on active military installation and activity will be conducted either by long-reach backhoe from uplands, or small barge or platform in water. By protecting against further erosion of shore, the existing wetlands and vegetation will survive. Plantings along shore will provide habitat.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The Patrick Air Force Base shoreline protection project with substantial wetland plantings will prevent future erosion and further destruction of shoreline wetlands which compensates impacts caused by this project. The impacts are minimized by avoiding the existing wetland vegetation at the south end of the project. There is little to no seagrass in the project area.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The US Air Force is the lead federal agency for this proposal documented compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. No further consultation is required.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The US Air Force is the lead federal agency for this proposal and completed consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, Protected Resource Division by separate letter. The US Air Force has documented compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. No further consultation is required.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): The US Air Force completed consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, Habitat Conservation Division as the lead federal agency for the proposed action. The US Air Force has documented compliance with the EFH provisions of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. No further consultation is required.
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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926 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, Andrew Phillips, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (321)504-3803; or, by telephone at (321)504-3771 extension 14.
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.