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: City of Deerfield Beach and Town of Hillsboro Beach
401 SW 4th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The project site is located along the beach beginning at SE 6th Street, Deerfield Beach south to 11220 Hillsboro Mile, Hillsboro Beach, approximately 1.3 miles between Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) reference monuments R5 to R12+400, Sections 5, 8 and 17, Township 48 South, Range 43 East, Deerfield Beach and Hillsboro Beach, Broward County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 95 take Exit 42 Hillsboro Boulevard and head east to South Ocean Drive, Turn south in South Ocean Drive. Turn east on SE 10th Street and continue to the beach.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
North End (R‐5)
Latitude: 26.310209 N
Longitude: 80.075685 W
South End (R‐12+400)
Latitude: 26.289511 N
Longitude: 80.078048 W
Basic: The basic project purpose is shoreline stabilization.
Overall: The overall project purpose is stabilization of the shoreline on Hillsboro and Deerfield Beaches.
The project area includes 7,175 ft of Atlantic Ocean shorefront backed by single family residential developments and condominiums to the west. There are existing exposed groins along the beach between R-5 and R-6+750. Substantial erosion has occurred along the beach along the entire stretch. There are natural nearshore reefs offshore of the proposed fill placement, approximately 220-442 feet from the Estimated Equilibrium Tow of Fill (ETOF). Sub-tidal areas where the fill material will be placed consist of sand. Boca Raton Inlet is located approximately 1.83 miles to the north of the fill portion of the project area.
PROJECT HISTORY: This region has received several shoreline restoration projects. The first recorded beach nourishment was conducted in 1957 when dredge material from Boca Raton Inlet was placed directly on the beach south of the Inlet. In 1958, the City of Deerfield Beach constructed a rock groin field in an attempt to stabilize the eroding shoreline. The Town of Hillsboro conducted a large beach renourishment project in 1970, placing 360,000 cubic yards of material between R-7 and R-12. In 1972, the City of Boca Raton established regular bypass dredging at the Boca Raton Inlet. In 1972, under Corps permit SAJ-1972-0474, the Town of Hillsboro placed approximately 1,550,000 cubic yards of material onto Hillsboro Beach between R-7 through R-12. The proposed project area was renourished again in 1998 under Corps permit SAJ-1997-2355(IP-KE) which resulted in the placement of 550,000 cubic yards of material between DEP Monuments R-6 and R-12. In February 2008, the Town of Hillsboro placed pressure equalizing modules (PEMs) from 330 feet north of DEP Monument R-7 to DEP Monument R-12 under Corps Permit SAJ-2006-7167(IP-KLV). The Town of Hillsboro placed 9,000 cubic yards of fill at DEP Monument R-7 in June 2008 by truck haul under Corps permit SAJ-1997-2355(IP-KLV). The truck haul project was meant to temporarily provide shoreline stabilization at a small erosion “hot spot”. The Corps issued a permit on January 10, 2011, authorizing the placement of 375,000 cubic yards of material from DEP Monuments R-5 to R-12 + 400 feet via pipeline from an offshore borrow area. The Corps issued a modification on May 2, 2011, to extend the construction window and to amend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biological Opinion. The Corps issued a second modification on January 27, 2012, that made changes to the special condition regarding monitoring. The Corps issued a third modification on February 12, 2015, authorizing a onetime placement of approximately 50,000 cubic yards of compatible beach quality sand along 1,942 linear feet of shoreline, from 295 linear feet north of FDEP monuments R-6 to 300 linear feet north of R-8. Berm elevations of +6.0 feet (NAVD) at Deerfield Beach (R-5.5+393 to SE 10th Street) and +8.0 feet at Hillsboro Beach (SE 10th Street to R-7.5+155). The Corps issued a permit on February 12, 2018, to perform a onetime truck haul that will place 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. A berm elevation of +7.5 feet (NAVD) will be established. All design sections will incorporate a 1V:10H foreshore/nearshore slope. Corps issued a permit on December 5, 2019, 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 incorporated 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). On March 10, 2020, the Corps issued a modification for the addition of Garcia Minces as a sand source for the proposed beach nourishment event along 3,230 linear feet of shoreline, from FDEP monuments R-6 +750 to R-9.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks a 10-year reauthorization with the ability to maintain the fill template with approximately 3-5 events within that time frame. The proposed project is to nourish 7,175 linear feet of shoreline between DEP monuments R5 to R-12 + 400 feet with approximately 400,000 cubic yards of sand. North of R‐6.5,
the design cross‐section provides a dune of varying width at an elevation of +12 feet, NAVD88, and a seaward slope of 1V to 6H. Beach and dune sand placement north of R‐6.5 will occur landward of mean high water (MHW) and will be limited to amount needed to bury existing rock groins as shown on the permit sketches. From R‐6.5 to R‐12+400, the existing berm height will be raised to +7.5 feet NAVD88 with a design profile consisting of 1:15 foreshore slope transitioning to a 1:30 near slope. The sand source will come from four approved upland sand mines (E.R. Jahna Industries, Inc. Ortona Mine, Vulcan Materials Company’s Witherspoon Mine, Stewart Materials’ Immokalee Mine, and the Garcia Sand Mine), approved sand stock piled from an upland source by the City of Deerfield Beach and from a beneficial re‐use dredged from the Boca Raton Inlet navigational channel (SAJ-2022-08890).
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 and adjacent hardbottom:
• 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
• Monitor water quality (turbidity) at the beach placement sites as required by 401 Water Quality Certification
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
There are not direct or indirect impacts to hardbottom or submerged aquatic vegetation, therefore no compensatory mitigation is required. The beach has been re-nourishment since 2011. The previous permits required subsequent monitoring each year after construction and the previous projects did not result in impacts to the offshore hardbottom.
The Corps has evaluated the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and has followed the guidelines of 33 CFR Part 325, Appendix C. Due to the area having been so extensively modified by previous impacts related to past nourishment projects, the Corps has determined that the project would have No Potential to Cause Effects to Historic Properties.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect the threatened/endangered nesting sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Eremochelys imbricate, Lepidochelys kempii, Dermochelys coriacea, Caretta caretta), the piping plover (Charadrius melodus), the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), and would not affect the manatee’s designated critical habitat. The Corps has also determined that the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the red knot (Chalidris canutus), and the Loggerhead sea turtle designated breeding (Unit # LOGG-N-19) and migratory critical habitat. Corps determined that the request is consistent with the Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion (2015-SPBO, Service 2015) and the Programmatic Piping Plover Biological Opinion (P3BO, Service 2013). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination 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/threatened swimming sea turtles, the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), the Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris), and the loggerhead critical habitat.
The Corps is reviewing the project for compliance with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) South Atlantic Regional Biological Opinion (SARBO) dated March 2020.
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 71 acres of unconsolidated/sand habitat 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 not been verified by Corps personnel.
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 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, Patricia Clune, in writing at 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; by electronic mail at Patricia.R.Clune@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (561)-768-5944.
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.
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.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 0289706‐001‐JC.
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.