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: City of Riviera Beach
Attn: Mr. Danny Jones
600 West Blue Heron Boulevard
Riviera Beach, Florida 33404
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located at the City of Riviera Beach Marina within navigable waters of the United States in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), adjacent to 180 East 13th Street, Section 33, Township 42 South, Range 43 East, Rivera Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County, exit onto Blue Heron Boulevard. Travel east to U.S. Highway 1, then south to East 13th Street. The marina entrance is located east of East 13th Street.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Water Access
Overall: To improve water access at the existing City of Riviera Beach Marina, Palm Beach County Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The City of Riviera Beach Marine Facility is a 66,934 square foot commercial marina consisting of 124 permanent wet slips and 30 temporary wet slips. The marina does not support dry boat slips. Water depths at the marina are approximately -7 feet mean low water. Marginal berthing areas are typically temporary slips, and are designated to accommodate multiple small vessels or a fewer number of larger vessels in the mega yacht class. The shoreline of the marina is stabilized by a vertical bulkhead. The site contains submerged bottoms which are characterized as vegetated and unvegetated sand or rubble hardbottom. Vegetated submerged bottoms contain the seagrass species Halophila decipiens and Halophila johnsonii. Rubble hardbottom includes areas containing soft corals.
The project borders the ICW. South Viking Marina is located to the north, the Port of Palm Beach is located to the south, commercial development is located to the west, while the ICW and Peanut Island is located to the east. The marina dockage is a minimum distance of 100’ from the ICW federal channel, but is located in designated critical habitat for the West Indian manatee.
PROJECT HISTORY: A standard permit (SAJ-1993-02265 (SP-CHF)) dated 22 February 2012 authorized the reconfiguration of the existing marina in Piers A-F, total of 111 permanent slips. This permit was modified on 26 September 2016 to extend the expiration date by two years to 22 February 2019. A second standard permit, SAJ-1993-02265 (SP-AAZ) was issued 26 September 2016, which added an additional 13 slips through the creation of Pier G. This permit was also modified on 26 September 2016 to extend the expiration date to 26 September 2021.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to modify the existing permit to reconfigure Piers E and F and add 8 additional slips to the City of Riviera Beach Marina. The proposed activities include a reduction of 2,340 square feet of overwater structure. Activities include:
a. Remove two existing 4 foot wide by 18-foot long concrete finger piers on Pier F
b. Remove an existing 10 foot by 80 foot floating marginal dock in Pier F.
c. Install one new, 6 foot wide by 46 feet long floating finger pier in Pier F
d. Install a new aluminum frame with wood plank decking over top an existing 8 foot wide by 180 foot long concrete dock/breakwater within Pier F
e. Remove an existing 8 foot wide by 135 foot long floating dock in Piers E
f. Remove an existing 8 foot wide by 120 foot long floating dock in Piers E
g. Remove an existing 8 foot wide by 100 foot long floating dock in Piers E
h. Construct two 6 foot wide by 56 foot long floating docks in Pier E with associated 4 foot long aluminum gangways
i. Construct a 8 foot wide by 76 foot long floating dock in Pier E and install an associated 4 foot long aluminum gangway.
j. Replace the Marginal 15 foot by 160 foot floating dock in Pier E with an 8- foot by 186-foot fixed marginal dock.
The proposed modification to Piers E and F would also extend the expiration date of SAJ-1993-02265 (SP-CHF) by 5 years in order to complete the above proposed activities.
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:
“Concrete piles shall be driven using mechanical pile driving equipment. Steel piles shall be installed using a vibratory hammer that uses high frequency vibration at very low noise levels to drive pile downwards. Minimum water jetting techniques will be employed in an effort to minimize disturbance of the bottom. Turbidity screens will be installed around the periphery of barge-based operations during demolition and construction activities.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
“No mitigation is proposed because there are no proposed impacts to existing resources.”
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 West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and its designated critical habitat; swimming sea turtles: (green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)); smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 proposal would impact approximately 1.25 acres of unvegetated sand or rubble hardbottom by shading. Rubble hardbottom may include areas containing soft corals. Benthic substrates within project area are 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. 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 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, 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.K.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.