Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

SAJ-2020-03670 (SP-JED)

Published Nov. 6, 2020
Expiration date: 12/4/2020

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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act as described below:

Jacksonville Port Authority
Attn: James Bennett
2831 Talleyrand Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32206

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The project site is located approximately 4 miles east of the mouth of the St. Johns River in the Atlantic Ocean. The proposed project is to remove high spots east of the sea buoy named STJ, approximately 12 miles east-southeast into the Atlantic Ocean.

Directions to the site are as follows: The proposed work would occur to the east of the Jacksonville Harbor Outer Entrance Channel at the coordinates provided below.


Work Site



High Spot A



High Spot B



High Spot C



High Spot D



High Spot E



High Spot F



Basic: The basic project is dredging to improve navigation.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to dredge to remove navigational hazards east of the Federal Navigation Channel providing passage into Jacksonville Harbor.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The existing area surrounding the project area consists of open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The benthic conditions within the dredge template consist of bare sand bottom underlain with some clay material. The proposed dredge template does not support seagrass, corals, or live hardbottom.

PROPOSED WORK: The Jacksonville Port Authority is proposing to remove high spots in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Federal Navigation Channel approximately 12 miles east-southeast into the Atlantic Ocean sea buoy, named STJ. The high spot removal will ensure a safe deep-water approach to the Jacksonville Harbor, with a depth of 51 feet required plus 1-foot allowable overdepth. Aids to navigation will be utilized throughout the approach to include lighted buoys, virtual aids, and range lights. The dredging will be comprised of six different areas and will total approximately 1,702,500 square feet. The approximate removal volume within high spot areas, to include a 5% increase for shoaling, is 69,000 cubic yards of dredged material to be disposed of at the Jacksonville Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS).

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 identified two potential channel approach route alternatives to extend the entrance channel. The applicant selected the route that would not impact seagrass, corals, or live hardbottom. Also, the applicant selected the route that results in the least amount of dredging volume.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION –The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: The proposed dredge template consists of unconsolidated sand bottom at a depth that does not support seagrass, corals, or live hardbottom. Thus, the applicant stated that compensatory mitigation is not warranted for the proposed project.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. The Corps determined that the proposed work would have no adverse effect on historic properties. By letter dated July 10, 2020, the State Historic Preservation Officer concurred with this determination. 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, not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the West Indian Manatee. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the Manatee, dated April 2013 (Key). Use of the Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C>G>H>I>N>O>P5 (MANLAA). The proposed project is not located in an Important Manatee Area. The project involves dredging to provide for a safe approach to an existing channel. The project would not impact submerged aquatic vegetation. The applicant would abide by the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011. Therefore, the Key resulted in a MANLAA determination. According to the Key, no further consultation is required.

The Corps determined that the proposed project may affect, not likely to adversely affect the following species or any designated critical habitat: Sea turtles (Kemps Ridley, Green, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Loggerhead), North Atlantic Right Whale, Shortnose Sturgeon, and Atlantic Sturgeon. The applicant would utilize the criteria provided South Atlantic Regional Biological Opinion for Dredging and Material Placement Activities in the Southeast United States for both the dredging and disposal aspects of the proposed project. 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.

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 1,664 acres of EFH consisting of marine water column and unconsolidated substrate. According to the best available data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) sources, seagrass is absent from the project area. The following species may utilize the project area Brown Shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), Pink Shrimp (Farfantepenaeus setiferus), White Shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus), Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus), Black Seabass (Centropristis striata), Mutton Snapper (Lutjanus analis), Gray Snapper (Lutjanus griseus), Lane Snapper (Lutjanus synagris), Yellowtail Snapper (Lutjanus chrysurus). Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean. 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.

CONCURRENCY: The Corps has determined that based on the analysis of the dredge materials, as required, the dredge material is acceptable for ocean disposal. This determination is based on analysis of sediments collected following the “Green Book” methodologies and summary in the Testing section above. The Corps will submit to EPA a 103 Evaluation Report and a request for concurrence that the dredged materials are suitable for disposal at the Jacksonville Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site ODMDS.

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/has not] been verified by Corps personnel.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification is not required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as the activity is located outside of Florida State waters.

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Tampa Permits Section, Gainesville Field Office, 2833 NW 41st Street, Unit 130, Gainesville, FL 32606 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, James Davidson, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, Gainesville Field Office, 2833 NW 41st Street, Unit 130, Gainesville, FL 32606 by electronic mail at; by facsimile transmission at (352)264-7733; or, by telephone at (352)264-7672.

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.