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) as described below:
APPLICANT: Bocaire Country Club
Attention: Maggie Green
4989 Bocaire Boulevard
Boca Raton, FL 33487
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with stormwater ponds within the Bocaire Golf Course. The project site is located at 4989 Bocaire Boulevard, Section 36, Township 46 South, Range 42 East, in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take Interstate 95 to Exit 51 for Linton Boulevard and travel west. Travel two miles and turn left (south) onto Military Trail. Continue south for approximately 1.2 miles and turn left onto Bocaire Boulevard, and follow straight to the golf course club house.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Overall: To reconfigure the Bocaire Country Club golf course to enhance recreation, Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Bocaire Country Club is a residential golf community that has an existing golf course with 41.9 acres of onsite stormwater ponds, which are connected and discharge into the Central and South Florida Project, C-15 Canal through one 60-inch and one 42-inch culvert. The edges of the stormwater lakes contain little to no littoral shelf and are maintained. The majority of the golf course is landscaped, sodded, and mowed. The area surrounding the golf course contains single family residential homes.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to reconfigure the existing golf stormwater ponds and holes to modernize the golf course and enhance recreation. These activities include filling 7.63 acres of waters of the United States and excavating 8.42 acres of uplands for a net gain of 0.79 acres of waters. Additionally, applicant proposes to install additional associated private stormwater conveyance pipes to interconnect newly constructed ponds to the existing stormwater system.
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:
All fill and sediments will be contained on site. The applicant will be utilizing the interior of the golf course for staging and haul roads. Best management practices, such as silt fences and turbidity curtains will be used to contain all sediment to the project site.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
Compensatory mitigation should not be required since the proposed project will have a net gain of 0.79 acres of non-wetland waters. Additional waters will be used for stormwater storage and for wood stork foraging habitat.
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, if applicable, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) and wood stork (Mycteria americana). The determinations are described below:
The site contains suitable foraging habitat and is within 18.6 miles of two wood stork nesting colonies. Suitable wood stork foraging habitat is located in waters up to 18 inches deep. The proposed project will be filling 0.98 acres of existing wood stork foraging habitat and excavating/creating 1.35 acres of wood stork foraging habitat from existing uplands. The Corps utilized the South Florida Programmatic Concurrence Key for the Wood Stork dated May 18, 2010, and determined that the project is not likely to adversely affect the wood stork (pathway A-B-C-E), since the proposed project will have a net gain of 0.37 acres of wood stork foraging habitat. No further consultation with FWS is required for the wood stork pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The proposed staging area for the project site is located in the uplands of the golf course. There are a few small patches of pines and forested areas along the golf course that may contain eastern indigo snake habitat. By use of the Eastern Indigo Snake key dated August 1, 2017, the project results in a may affect but is not likely to adversely affect (path A-B-C-D-E) and the eastern indigo snake provided the permit is conditioned such that all gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, be evacuated prior to site manipulation. Also, if a snake is encountered, the snake must be allowed to vacate the area prior to site manipulation. All holes, cavities, and snake refugia other than gopher tortoise burrows will be inspected each morning and if occupied by an indigo snake, no work can commence until the snake has vacated. No further consultation with the FWS is required provided the applicant adheres to the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake (2013), and inspects all gopher tortoise burrows and snake refugia areas as described.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.
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 Corps has determined that the proposed project would not impact EFH or federally managed fisheries and therefore consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996 is not necessary.
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 not 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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 within 30 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, Jerilyn Ashworth, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410; by electronic mail at Jerilyn.Ashworth@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (561)626-6971; or, by telephone at (561)472-3508.
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.