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:
U.S. Space Force
Space Launch Delta 45
1224 Jupiter Street
Patrick Space Force Base, Florida 32925
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline of Patrick Space Force Base in Sections 2, 11, 14, & 35, Townships 25 & 26 South, Range 37 East, in Brevard County, Florida.
The project will renourish beach between Florida Department of Environmental Protection Monuments:
R-53 to R-65 (hopper dredge pumpout)
R-65 to R-70 (truck haul)
R-70 to R-75.4 (dune-only, all work above the mean high water line)
Directions to the site are as follows: From the Cocoa Section take FL-528 E towards Port Canaveral/Cocoa Beach. Continue to follow Florida A1A south approximately 9 miles south to the northern extent of the project. Tables Beach access is approximately 0.5 miles south of the northern extent and the first public access point for the proposed beach nourishment. Pineda Beach Park is located approximately 0.10 miles north of the southern extent of the project which is due east of FL-404.
APPROXIMATE PROJECT BOUNDARIES:
Northern Extent: Latitude: 28.271887°
Southern Extent: Latitude: 28.212739°
Basic: To restore and maintain the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.
Overall: To restore and maintain the eroding shoreline along the Patrick Space Force Base beach in order to protect federal and state assets as well as maintain natural shoreline and dune habitat.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The shoreline of the Project Area is characterized by a largely undeveloped shoreline adjacent to SR A1A.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks to re-authorize the previously permitted beach nourishment along the shoreline of Patrick Space Force Base for an additional 10 years. Per the May 2022 survey the maximum placement of 325,000 cubic yards of beach-compatible sand from Canaveral Shoals II offshore borrow area. A hopper dredge will pump sand via pipeline to the beach between FDEP reference monuments R-53 to R-65 or by truck haul. Between R-65 and R-70 shall be by truck-haul of beach stockpile or upland sourced. Placement of up to 85,000 cubic yards of beach compatible sand from an upland source for dune-only restoration between monuments R-70 to R-75.4.
Upland sourced beach-compatible sand will be excavated from above the mean high-water line at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station upland beach sand source north of Port Canaveral Jetty/Canaveral Harbor Entrance Channel and truck-hauled for beach placement.
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:
“Avoidance measures: 1) dune only restoration from R-70 to R-75.4 (above MHWL) which serves to protect adjacent higher density nearshore protected hardbottom resources; 2) maintain 150 ft buffers from he wetland near the CCSFS upland Borrow Site. Minimization measures: 1) use of Dredging Quality Management System that monitors dredging and disposal activities; 2) turbidity monitoring to keep below compliance thresholds during fill discharge through the project.”
Additionally, the project will be conditioned to ensure compliance with the 2020 SARBO.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“No compensation through mitigation is anticipated as evaluated (and currently being monitored) through physical and biological monitoring beginning in 2000 after three full template renourishment events (2000/2001, 2005, & 2020/2021).”
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, and is likely to adversely affect” the loggerhead sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, West Indian manatee, southeastern beach mouse, roseate turn, red knot, piping plover, North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale, giant manta ray, smalltooth sawfish, and the shortnose sturgeon or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these 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 197 acres of marine and water column habitat utilized by various life stages of managed species. The Corps is aware of live/hardbottoms and worm rock reefs immediately adjacent to the discharge site. Live/hardbottom and worm rock are EFH for juvenile and adult gag and yellowedge grouper, gray and mutton snapper, and spiny lobster. In addition, the South Atlantic Fishery Marine Coucil also designates live/hardbottom and worm rock as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) for the snapper/grouper complex or highly migratory pelagic species. 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 because no nearshore hardbottom or work rock HACP’s will be directly filled by the proposed sand placement. 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 not require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, would not 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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926 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, Brandon J. Conroy, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (321) 370-8694.
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.