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: Town of Jupiter Island
c/o Gene Rauth
2 Bridge Road
Hobe Sound, Florida 33455
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with dredge and fill activities. The project is located in the Atlantic Ocean from DNR reference monuments R-73 through R-117, approximately three miles north of the Jupiter Inlet to the southern end of Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge in Sections 10, 14, 23, 25, 26, and 36, Township 39 south, Range 42 east; Sections 1 and 12, Township 40 south, Range 42 east; and Sections 7 and 18, Township 40 south, Range 43 east, Martin County, Florida. The Borrow Area B is located approximately two miles offshore of the central and southern portions of the project site.
Directions to the site are as follows: Directions to the site are as follows: 1) Exit I-95 at Exit 79A to merge onto FL-786 E/PGA Blvd. 2) Slight right at Lake Victoria Gardens. 3) Take the first right onto FL-811 N/Florida A1A Alt N/Old Dixie Highway. 4) Cross over US-1 and continue onto S Beach Road for approximately 3.6 miles. The location of R-117 (Southern Fill Boundary) is located on the beach to the east. 5) Continue north approximately 3.1 miles to County Road 707. 6) Make a slight right onto County Road 707. 7) County Road becomes North Beach Road. Continue to the north end of N Beach Road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Northern limit segment
Southern limit segment
Borrow Area B
Basic: The basic project purpose is for shoreline stabilization.
Overall: The overall project purpose is for shoreline stabilization activities along the shoreline of Jupiter Island.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of a previously re-nourished beach consisting of marine intertidal, unconsolidated shoreline. Borrow Site “B” is a 562-acre tract located approximately 2 miles to the east (offshore) of the proposed beach fill site and has been dredged for multiple projects over the past twenty years. Analysis of the material in the borrow sites indicates that the sediments are slightly coarser than the existing native beach sediments. The mean grain size of borrow site “B” is between 0.28mm and 0.46mm.
PROJECT HISTORY: The beach fill area was previously nourished in 1995-1996 under Department of the Army permit number SAJ-1992-1740 issued on December 4, 1992. The permit authorized the placement of 1,500,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach using a hydraulic dredge and pipeline. According to the reports from the biological monitoring, no adverse impacts have been documented. The permit was re-authorized on February 27, 2002 for the placement of 1,500,000 cubic yards of sand within the same boundaries as previously authorized with the addition of a 5,000-foot southerly extension of the fill limits. The permit was suspended on April 12, 2002, following the taking of a marine turtle and reinstated on April 16, 2002. The Corps issued another authorization on January 11, 2006 for an additional nourishment event due to damage from hurricanes in 2004. The project was modified on January 27, 2012, to authorize revisions of the turbidity monitoring plan and procedures. The project was modified on April 24, 2012 to extend the project activity date until May 5, 2014. The Corps issued a modification on November 13, 2015, that authorized beach nourishment along approximately 6.1 miles of shoreline, from DEP monuments R-76 to R-84 and from R-88 to R-117 along Jupiter Island using approximately 3,000,000 cubic yards of beach compatible sand from offshore Borrow Area “B” during two projects over the next 10 years. The two projects will be spaced 4-5 years apart and each event will place approximately 1,500,000 cubic yards per event. The sand will be excavated using a hopper dredge and pumped onto the beach through submerged pipeline. The pipeline corridor runs through an ephemeral rocky outcrop near R-80. The project will restore vegetation on coastal dunes, extending along proposed project length. The project profile will consist of a +8.42 foot North American Vertical Datum (NAVD 88) berm elevation, a 75 to 150 foot berm width, and a 1:10 foreshore construction slope. The modification would include the following activities: 1. Increase the berm width by 25 feet from R-97.8 to R-99.5 and R-101.2 to R-104. This volume increase is approximately 26 cubic yards per linear foot, 2. Installation of a dune feature less than 5 cubic yards per linear foot from R-84 to R-86, 3. Expansion of the fill template in the southern portion of the island from R-112 to R-117, and 4. Modify the top of berm construction slope from a flat (level) configuration to a 1:100 slope. The permit expires on November 13, 2025.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to modify their existing Department of Army (DA) Permit to provide shoreline stabilization through beach nourishment and associated dune restoration along approximately 8.4 miles of Jupiter Island shoreline, from DEP monuments R-73 to R-84 and from R-88 to R-117.The beach nourishment includes the placement of approximately 1.5 million cubic yards of beach compatible sand from offshore Borrow Area “B” DEP monuments R-73 to R-84 and from R-88 to R-117. The sand will be excavated using a hopper dredge and pumped onto the beach through submerged pipeline. The pipeline corridor runs through an ephemeral rocky outcrop near R-80. The project proposes restoration of vegetation on coastal dunes, extending along proposed project length from R-76 to R-86,R-88 to R-117 The project profile will consist of a +8.42 foot North American Vertical Datum (NAVD 88) berm elevation, a 75 to 150 foot berm width, and a 1:10 foreshore construction slope. The proposed modification includes a seaward expansion of the fill template between R-73 and R-80 as well as an expansion of Borrow Area B from 563 acres to 1,143 acres. The Town is also proposing to utilize offshore borrow site material for the renourishment of a protective dune located south of Blowing Rocks Preserve from R-126 to R-127.4. The offshore borrow area material for the dune in this location will be temporarily stockpiled in the southern staging/access area, then transferred to by truck and placed along the dune segment.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION: The project has been designed to avoid impacts to natural resources. Based on project biological and physical monitoring surveys conducted by the applicant to date, no hardbottom reef will be impacted although rocky outcrop and patch reefs are located in the vicinity of the construction toe of fill and Borrow Site “B”. Hardbottom resources are nominally 200 linear feet or greater from the construction toe of fill and no impacts to adjacent submerged aquatic resources (nearshore hardbottom) are proposed or anticipated. Offshore hardbottom resources are nominally 1,000 feet or greater from the proposed Borrow Site.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: Compensatory mitigation has not been previously required and continues to be unnecessary for this project because dredged beach fill compatibility and associated construction activities are designed to avoid adverse impacts to the aquatic environment. Regular project monitoring to date has indicated no impacts to hardbottom resources associated with borrow area excavation or fill placement have occurred.
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 proposed project may affect the threatened/endangered nesting sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lepidochelys kempii, Dermochelys coriacea, Caretta caretta), and may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the Beach Jacquemontia, the piping plover, (Charadrius melodus), the red knot (Calidris canutus), the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), and the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), but would not adversely modify the plovers or manatee’s designated critical habitat or the terrestrial loggerhead critical habitat within Unit LOGG-T-FL-09. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation for the determination on the nesting sea turtles, and concurrence with the determination for the other above listed species with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect the endangered/ threatened swimming sea turtles including leatherback, loggerhead, green, hawksbill, and Kemp’s Ridley, the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), and the nearshore reproductive and migratory critical habitat for the loggerhead sea turtles within Unit LOGG-N-18. The Corps has determined that this project is covered by an existing ESA consultation, the Regional Biological Opinion Concerning the use of Hopper Dredges in Channels and Borrow Areas along the Southeast U.S. Atlantic Coast (SARBO) therefore, no further consultation for species under NMFS’ purview is required.
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 132 acres of sandy substrate seaward of the Mean High Water, 277 acres landward of the MHW, and 1,143 acres from the utilization of the offshore borrow area. The benthic habitat in all locations of the proposed activities contain un-vegetated sandy and/or rocky bottom, tidal, and sub-tidal areas 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.
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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, 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, Suite 500, 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.