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 Hillsboro Beach
Attn: William Serda
1210 Hillsboro Mile
Hillsboro Beach, Florida 33062
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the discharge of fill material along the shoreline of Palm Beach County and adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. The project is located along approximately 3,230 linear feet of shoreline from FDEP monuments R-6 + 750 feet to R-10 (Section 5, 8, and 17, Township 48 South, Range 43 East) Broward County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 95 exit at Hillsboro Beach and head east to A1A. Turn south on A1A Drive to Southeast 7th St. Turn east on SE 7th St. to SE 21st Ave. Head south, the project site lies on the east side of SE 21st Ave.
Fill placement northern limit
Fill placement southern limit
Basic: The basic project purpose is shoreline stabilization.
Overall: The overall project purpose is stabilization of the shoreline on Hillsboro and Deerfield Beach.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area is located along the shoreline between the Atlantic Ocean and single family residential developments and condominiums to the west. There are existing groins along this stretch of beach. Substantial erosion has occurred along the beach in this area due to hurricane Irma in 2017. There are natural nearshore reefs offshore of the proposed fill placement area approximately 486 feet from the construction toe of fill. Sub-tidal areas where the fill material will be placed consist of sand. Boca Raton Inlet is located approximately 2.1 miles to the north of the project area.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to perform a onetime truck haul that will place approximately 70,350 cubic yards of compatible beach quality sand along 3,230 linear feet of shoreline, from FDEP monuments R-6 +750 to R-9. A berm elevation of +7.5 feet (NAVD) will be established. All design sections will incorporate a 1V:10H foreshore/nearshore slope. Approximately 9.40 acres (62,461 cy) of material will be placed above the high tide line (HTL), and 7.64 acres (7,896 cy) of material will be placed below the HTL. Beach compatible sand will be transported to via dump truck to the project area from one of three upland mines - Immokalee (Steward Mining Inc.), Witherspoon (Vulcan Minerals) and/or Ortona (E.R. Jahna). Access to the beach would be provided via the oceanfront property located at 1185 Hillsboro Mile. Sand will be offloaded directly onto the beach’s berm, above the mean high water line, within the Project area. Once the sand has been deposited within the fill template, the material will be loaded ad transported using a variety of heavy equipment including backhoes and all-terrain dump trucks using the wet portion of the beach as a corridor, and graded to permitted design fill profile using a bulldozer. All sand placement activities will be completed using upland equipment and no water dependent equipment (e.g., barges, ect.) will be utilized. All work will be conducted during daylight hours and no project lighting will be required.
PROJECT HISTORY: The Corps issued a Department of Army (DA) permit on February 12, 2018 for a onetime truck haul that authorized the placement of approximately 37,285 cubic yards of compatible beach quality sand along 2,200 linear feet of shoreline, from FDEP monuments R-6 + 750’ to R-9.
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: The applicant stated the project was minimized to the maximum extent possible that would achieve their project purpose, and all practical efforts were made to minimize and avoid aquatic resource impacts. The project lies within the design template of a previously authorized nourishment project and no impacts to submerged aquatic resources are proposed or anticipated. Turbidity impacts would be temporary and monitoring will be required. Fill template densities have been calculated to avoid direct and secondary impacts to nearshore hardbottom that is approximately 486 linear feet from the toe-of-fill. All construction vehicles and equipment will transverse or be stored within the designated staging area or the beach corridor. Existing vegetated habitat at the staging area and beach access corridor shall be protected to the maximum extent possible to minimize disturbance; therefore, impacts associated with the beach access corridor, staging area, and beach fill template are not anticipated. If impacts occur, all impacted areas and vegetation will be restored to preconstruction condition and elevation. All loose debris will be removed and properly disposed of prior to sand placement.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation as to why compensatory mitigation should not be required: The one-time truck haul sand placement is within a previously authorized fill template and the construction toe of fill is substantially landward (approximately 486 linear feet) of the nearshore hardbottom. The applicant stated the project will not result in any impacts to aquatic resource and did not propose any compensatory mitigation.
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 proposal may affect the threatened West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), endangered and threatened nesting seaturtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricate, Lepidochelys kempii, Dermochelys coriacea, Caretta caretta, Lepidochelys olivacea), the threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus), and the loggerhead designated terrestrial critical habitat Unit LOGG-T-FL-09. The Corps has determined that the request is consistent with the Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion (2015-SPBO, Service 2015), the Programmatic Piping Plover Biological Opinion (P3BO, Service 2013). The Corps will request concurrence with this determination with the Fish and Wildlife Service 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. The proposal would impact a total of 7.64 acres of unconsolidated sand below the mean high water line utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. The Corps 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. The Corps 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 Regulatory 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 aquatic resources. 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 Regulatory Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410, by electronic mail at Linda.C.Knoeck@usace.army.mil, by fax at (561)626-6971, or by telephone at (561)472-3531.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Service, 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat.
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 and 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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.
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.