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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Sailfish Point Property Owners’ and County Club Assoc. Inc.
Attn: E.J. Ewing
2201 SE Sailfish Point Blvd.
Stuart, FL 3496
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located along the shoreline adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean at the SE end of Sailfish Point north of the St. Lucie Inlet approx. 430 feet south of monument marker R-42, in Stuart (Section 16, Township 38 South, Range 42 East), Martin County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 north toward Stuart and exit on SW Kanner Highway. Continue on Kanner Highway for about 6.3 miles and turn right onto SE Ocean Blvd, and go over the bridge and turn right onto NE MacArthur Blvd. Follow MacArthur Blvd south for approximately 2.5 miles, the road turns into SE Sailfish Point Blvd, turn right onto SE Harbor Drive, turn left onto Dune Drive, turn right onto Island Point Lane. The groin is located at the SE end of Sailfish Point north of the St. Lucie Inlet/
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is to repair and replace an existing groin for continued shoreline stabilization.
Overall: The overall purpose is to repair and replace an existing groin for continued shoreline stabilization of the Sailfish Point community in Martin County Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The immediate vicinity of the existing groin and adjacent work area is an unvegetated sand beach and sandy unconsolidated habitat below the high tide line. Approximately 40 feet to the south the shoreline intersects St. Lucie Inlet north jetty. There are vegetated sand dunes along the shoreline. According to an aquatic survey conducted in 2017/2018, there are nearshore hardbottom located approximately 388 feet seaward of the project area. No submerged aquatic vegetation is within 100 feet of the proposed work area. Turf algae and encrusting organisms are dominant cover along the existing groins concrete cap and steel sheet piles, and no scleractinian corals were observed on the existing structure.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to repair and replace approximately 300 linear feet of an existing 430 linear foot groin. The applicant will install geotextile/geogrid and rock boulders along approximately 15-feet on either side of the 300 feet of existing groin structure at a slope of 1V:5H for a total of 9,600 square feet (3,100 SF and 160 CY above the mean high water line and 6,500 SF and 430 CY below the MHWL). Crest elevations will vary from +4.5 feet NAVD ’88 and -2.3 feet NAVD ’88, and will match those of the existing groin. Approximately 900 CY of sand seabed immediately adjacent to the groin (500 CY above the MHWL and 400 CY below the MHWL) will be temporarily excavated to place the geotextile/geogrid and boulders, within the overall work area, and then be replaced atop and adjacent to the boulders, with no net removal or addition of sediment to the site. Construction shall be by mechanical equipment from the beach, with staging and access from the sand beach at the landward end of the groin, and with equipment and materials delivered from the upland and/or by temporary barge landing upon the north shore of St. Lucie Inlet immediately south of the groin. Construction activity will be between November1 and April 30.
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: Construction will be by land-based crane, excavator, and pay-loader to place the rock boulders, utilizing a temporary rock bund access path along the existing groin to reach its seaward end. Excess rock beyond that needed to armor the groin will be removed from the temporary bund as the work is completed. The boulders will be delivered to the site by truck access along the beach from the north near monument R-38.5 and/or by light barge landing along the north bank of the St. Lucie Inlet immediately south of the work area near R-42.5. Turbidity curtains and turbidity monitoring will occur.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: No impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation are being proposed or are anticipated therefore no compensatory mitigation should be required.
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 determined that the project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the threatened West Indian Manatee and would not adversely modify its designated critical habitat. The Corps also determined that the project may affect the nesting sea turtles; Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), but would not adversely modify the Loggerhead’s designated nesting critical habitat (LOGG-N-18). The Corps has determined that the project is appropriate to apply the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS) Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion dated March 13, 2015, and will request the Services concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), swimming sea turtles: the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), and would not adversely modify the loggerhead’s designated migratory and nearshore reproductive critical habitat. The Corps will request concurrence with theses determinations from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Protected Resources Division (PRD) pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
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. Approximately 6,500 square feet of unvegetated sandy unconsolidated benthic habitat utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex will be shaded by the proposed structure. The project as proposed will not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries based on the applicant’s implemented avoidance and minimization measures. 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 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, STE 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, STE 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410; or 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.