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: Palm Beach County
Attn: Kathleen Farrell
2300 North Jog Road, 3rd Floor West
West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated within a residential canal that connects to the Intracoastal Waterway. The project site is located along Harbor Road North, Section 30, Township 40 South, Range 43 East, Jupiter, Florida 33469.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is shoreline stabilization for roadway and drainage improvements.
Overall: The overall project purpose is shoreline stabilization for roadway and drainage improvements to an existing road and culvert system in Palm Beach County, Florida.
The project sites are located within a residential canal that connects to the Intracoastal Waterway, which are tidal waters assessable to fish and aquatic wildlife species as well as federally listed species such as manatees, sea turtles, smalltooth sawfish, and giant manta rays. The project area consists of an unconsolidated shoreline with a tidal wetland-fringe consisting primarily of dense red and black mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) and (Avicennia germinans), along with other plant species such as sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera), Brazilian pepper, (Schinus terebinthifolia), and Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). A benthic resource survey was not provided by the applicant. However, the Corps conducted a site visit on August 8, 2022, where no seagrasses or benthic resources were observed within the proposed project vicinity. Existing in-water structures include five (5) wood docks.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to:
1. Remove the existing wood docks
2. Place 32.5 cubic yards of clean fill within 0.325 of tidal wetlands to install 430 linear feet of new seawall with a 3-foot wide cap.
3. Install two (2) outfall piles 18-inches in diameter.
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:
• Turbidity curtains and erosion control measures would be used during construction
• Only clean fill materials would be utilized
• Applicant would adhere to the Standard Manatee Construction Conditions and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) ’ Protected Species Conditions
• Flap gates to be installed over outfall pipes
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION –
The applicant has stated that compensatory mitigation for the proposed loss of wetland impacts would occur through on-site, permitee responsible mitigation or through the purchase of credits from a mitigation bank.
The Corps is evaluating the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This public notice serves to inform the public of the proposed undertaking and invites comments including those from local, State, and Federal government Agencies with respect to historic resources. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts may be subject to additional coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and other interested parties.
The Corps has determined initially that the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Green (Chelonia mydas), and Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles, Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and the Giant Manta Ray (Mobula birostris). The Corps will evaluate the proposed work and request concurrence from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service by separate letter, or obtain programmatic concurrence as appropriate.
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 0.33 +/-acre of submerged substrate containing tidal wetlands containing mangroves, which are 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.
NAVIGATION: The proposed project would not occur within the setback of a Federal Navigation Channel.
SECTION 408: The Corps has determined 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.
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 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, Christian Karvounis, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by e-mail at Christian.G.Karvounis@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at 561-785-3309.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, 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.
The 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.
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.