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SAJ-1989-00506(SP-JKA)

Published Sept. 3, 2020
Expiration date: 9/18/2020

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: Jupiter Inlet District
Joseph B. Chaison, P.E.
400 N. Delaware Boulevard
Jupiter, Florida 33458

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Jupiter Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. The project site dredging location is located within the Jupiter Inlet Sand Trap, located just north of Dubois Park in Jupiter Inlet, Jupiter, Palm Beach County Florida. The placement of sand is located along the beach just south of the inlet from Jupiter Beach Park to just south of Carlin Park, approximately 1.1 miles from Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) reference monuments R13 to R19, Section 32, Township 40 South, Range 43 East and Section 5, Township 41 South, Range 43 East, Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Take exit 87A from Interstate 95 for Indiantown Road East toward Jupiter. Travel 4.8 miles east and turn left onto North Highway A1A/Ocean Boulevard. Travel 0.4 miles and turn right onto Jupiter Beach Road and Dubois Park will be in approximately 200 feet. The dredging of the Jupiter Inlet Sand Trap is located just north of Dubois Park within the Jupiter Inlet. The sand placement along the Atlantic Ocean’s northern terminus is at Dubois Park/ Jupiter Beach Park.

APPROXIMATE COORDINATES:

Location

Latitude

Longitude

Jupiter Inlet Sand Trap NW corner

26.945405°

-80.075898°

Jupiter Inlet Sand Trap NE corner

26.944779°

-80.072956°

Jupiter Inlet Sand Trap SE corner

26.944017°

-80.073211°

Jupiter inlet Sand Trap SW corner

26.944647°

-80.076158°

Atlantic Ocean/Beach Nourishment- North

26.942336°

-80.072084°

Atlantic Ocean/Beach Nourishment- South

26.927569°

-80.067987°


PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: Sand Bypass

Overall: The purpose of the project is to bypass sand accumulated annually within the Jupiter Inlet and relocate it south to meet the Inlet Management Plan Requirements within Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida.

PROJECT HISTORY: An individual permit was issued March 26, 2001 with an expiration date of March 26, 2006, which authorized the removal of 60,000 to 80,000 cubic yards of sediment annually from the 6.58 acre Jupiter Inlet District Sand Trap. The dredged material was authorized to be placed along the beach south of Jupiter Inlet between FDEP reference monuments R12.5 to R17 to create a +8.0 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NVGD) berm (average width of 55 feet) and as associated foreshore slope of 1V:10H. The permit also required compensatory mitigation for the cumulative impacts to 33% of the 3.48 acres of hard bottom habitat located between FDEP reference monuments R13 to R-19. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a Biological Opinion for the proposed activities dated March 22, 2001. The Service evaluated the effects of the project on loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill sea turtle (Eremochelys imbricate) and the West Indian manatee (Trichechus mantus). The Service determined that the proposed project was not likely to jeopardize the above listed species and provided reasonable and prudent measures to be implemented along with their incidental take statement. The applicant received a modification to extend the expiration date of the permit to April 30, 2006.

The Corps issued another standard permit dated December 14, 2007 with an expiration date of November 16, 2017, which authorized the applicant to dredge 80,000 cubic yards of sand from the 6.58-acre Jupiter Inlet District Sand Trap using a hydraulic cutter head to a depth of minus 20 feet NGVD and pipe the material to the beach south of Jupiter Inlet, FDEP reference monuments R12.5 to R19. The placement of sand along the beach would include a berm elevation of +8 feet NGVD, approximately 55-70 feet berm width, and a 1V:10H slope from the berm to the existing bottom.

The most recent application, proposes to dredge the 6.58-acre Jupiter Inlet Sand Trap to minus 20.5 feet NAVD88 with a one foot overdredge allowance. The proposed project uses the NAVD88 datum, which is updated from the NGVD datum and no changes to dredge depth are proposed. The applicant has also modified the template for the proposed placement of sand, from previous permits to be consistent with the federally approved footprint “Palm Beach County Shoreline Protection Project, Jupiter Carlin Segment”, located between FDEP reference monuments R13 to R19. The effects of the beach sand placement template were analyzed within the Final Integrated Section 934 Report and Environmental Assessment, dated August 2018, where the U.S. Army Corps Civil Works, provided a Finding of No Significant Impact.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:
Jupiter Inlet District Sand Trap: The 6.58-acre Jupiter Inlet sand trap lies between the inlet's north and south jetties. Water depths average between -10 feet and -22 feet relative to NAVD88. Littoral processes drive sand into the inlet where the sand accumulates in the sand trap. Typical accumulations in the trap provide between 50,000 and 100,000 cubic yards for each dredging cycle. The most recent bathymetric survey, collected on April 20, 2020, shows 100,000 cubic yards of sand available for bypassing.

Sediment Placement Along Beach reference monuments R13 to R19: The primary dune within the Project area varies in height between about 10 feet to 25 feet North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88). Pedestrian-caused erosion and erosion due to natural forces have reduced dune quality in many areas to a relatively poor condition. The beach at Jupiter Beach Park is highly eroded. The foredune at Ocean Trail is eroding rapidly Species such as salt grass, sand spur, bay bean, sea oats, and sea grape vegetate the dunes along a significant portion of the Project reach. Wildlife is limited to small mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and a variety of shore and sea birds. The beach, moderately sloped (approximately 1V:10H), primarily contains medium and fine sediments composed of quartz particles and carbonates. Analysis of available sand samples from the existing beach (collected from dune toe, berm crest, and mean high water at R-13, R-14, and R-15 in late spring 2009) revealed the following sand characteristics: Mean grain size (phi) = 1.39 (0.39 mm), sorting (phi) = 0.89, silt content = 0.97%, and 45% average carbonate content. Munsell Color evaluation reported Hues of 5Y, 10YR, Value 4 or lighter, and 1 – 2 Chroma.

The beach provides foraging and resting habitat for numerous seabirds and shorebirds such as terns, gulls sandpipers, plovers, and skimmers. Fish and invertebrates within the intertidal zone are the staple diet for these species. In the supralittoral zone, ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata) and mole crabs (Emeria talpoida), are the most visible and motile inhabitants of the sandy substrate.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks re-authorization to dredge approximately 50,000 to 100,000 cubic yards of sand annually from the 6.58-acre Jupiter Inlet District Sand Trap, to a depth of minus 21.5 feet NAVD88, which includes a one foot overdredge within the trap using a hydraulic cutter head dredge. Dredged material will be piped using a floating pipeline for placement along the dunes, beach, and within the Atlantic Ocean from monuments R13 to R19, an area approximately 1.1 miles long. Placement of material will be located within the same template of the Federally approved Palm Beach County Shoreline Protection Project, Jupiter Carlin Segment, which includes a dune elevation of +12.5 feet NAVD88 with an average width of 86 feet, transitioning at a 4:1 horizontal to vertical slope to a berm elevation of +7.5 feet NAVD88 with an average width of 177 feet, transitioning at a 10:1 horizontal to vertical slope to the point of intersection with the existing grade.

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 will be restricted to the design fill template dimensions to protect nearby reefs
• Project will be constructed outside of the primary sea turtle nesting season (May 1 to October 31)
• Incorporate compaction testing and, if necessary, tilling to achieve appropriate sand compaction for nesting turtles
• Follow 2011 Standard Manatee Construction Conditions
• Monitor water quality (turbidity) at the dredging and beach placement sites as required by 401 Water Quality Certification
• Operate all vessels associated with the construction project at "No Wake/Idle" speed at all times while within the construction area
• The Contractor shall adhere to the dredge and vessel off limits and restricted area zones shown on the drawings.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:

No additional impacts from those previously authorized are expected as a result of the placement of sand from the Jupiter Inlet Sand Trap. Therefore no additional mitigation should be required. Furthermore, the applicant has stated that all mitigation requirements are up to date and paid in full as required by the 2007 permit.

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 proposal may 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, Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea); Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)); smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata); Loggerhead sea turtle, constricted migratory, breeding and nearshore reproductive critical habitats; Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus); rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) and beach jaquemontia (Jacquemontia reclinata). The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service/National Marine Fisheries Service 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 Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii); and Northern Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other 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 57 acres of sand and hardbottom 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.

SECTION 408: The applicant will require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, would alter, occupy, or use a Corps Civil Works project.

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, Florida 33410 within 15 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 Garden Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at Jerilyn.Ashworth@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (561)472-3516.

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.