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: The Yacht & Racquet Club of Boca Raton
c/o Ms. Susana Florian
2711 N Ocean Blvd.
Boca Raton, FL 33431
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (WOTUS) associated with the Intracoastal Waterway. The project site is located adjacent to 2711 N Ocean Blvd. (Section 16, Township 47 South, Range 43 East), Boca Raton, in Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of NE Spanish River Blvd. and Federal Hwy. proceed east on NE Spanish River Blvd. for approximately 0.57 miles and take a right on N. Ocean Blvd. heading south. Proceed south on N. Ocean Blvd. for approximately 0.78 miles and the Yacht and Racquet Club of Boca Raton is on your right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is to provide improved shoreline stabilization.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to provide improved shoreline stabilization for the shoreline at the Yacht & Racquet Club of Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS and PROJECT HISTORY: The immediate upland is a mutli-family condominium (Yacht & Racquet Club). The area within and adjacent to the project area is accessible and provides habitat for swimming sea turtles, smalltooth sawfish, manatees, and other aquatic organisms. The site has an existing bulkhead and breakwater, which are in a deteriorated condition. A benthic resource survey conducted February 7 & 24 and September 12, 2022, reported that seagrass resources were observed along the south-facing and southwest-facing portions of the south bulkhead and along the northwest-facing portion of the bulkhead or around the south breakwater. Two species of seagrass, Halophila decipiens and Halodule wrightii, were observed in the investigation area. Overall, the seagrass abundance was sparse (<25%) to moderate (25-50%) and the seagrass was growing within a dense mix of macroalgae (attached and drift), turf algae and cyanobacteria on a sandy substrate. Canopy heights were consistent throughout the investigation area for each species and ranged from 2-3 cm for H. decipiens and 10-15 cm for H. wrightii.
On June 10, 2022, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a Joint Environmental Resource Permit under the State Programmatic General Permit under number 50-0197338-001,002,003 for work consisting of the replacement of 270-linear feet of seawall cap, the replacement of two baffle breakwater structures at the mouth of the yacht basin, and the installation of 1,400-square feet of riprap to restabilize the bulkhead. No additional State or federal permits have been located.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to improve shoreline stabilization by conducting the following activities:
1. Replacement of approximately 550 feet of deteriorating concrete pile and panel bulkhead fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. 379 linear feet of the proposed bulkhead will be placed in the same footprint as the existing wall and 91 linear feet will be placed 18 inches waterward of the existing wall utilizing new upland tie rods and concrete anchors. The remaining 80 feet of bulkhead will be cantilevered and placed 19.69 linear feet waterward of the existing seawall;
2. Replace an existing 36” stormwater outfall (36 in diameter) in the same location and elevation. Manatee bars will be attached to the seaward end;
3. Remove and replace two small existing rock revetments 244 square feet and 233 square feet/70.7 cubic yards) in front of the bulkhead. There will be no change in location or dimension of the rubble piles;
4. Remove and replace 29 linear feet (44 square feet) of the south breakwater at the entrance to the marina with a steel sheet pile wall with a 2.5-foot-wide concrete cap;
5. Temporary piles may be installed immediately adjacent to the bulkhead to serve as mooring points for the construction barge. This will eliminate the need from spudding the barge in an adjacent seagrass bed.
Bulkhead and breakwater construction will occur from either upland or from a barge. There is deep water throughout the marina for a barge and tug (draft 5 feet maximum) to operate without bottom clearance issues. Operation of a barge and crane between the Intracoastal Waterway channel and the bulkhead may be limited by local depths. The existing concrete cap will be demolished. The tiebacks will be cut and removed. Due to upland infrastructure, the use of a Giken machine (steel sheet pile install) to install the sheet pile may be utilized. Otherwise, a variable moment hydraulic hammer will be used to drive the steel sheet piles. A concrete cap will be formed and poured. Revetment stones may be removed using a barge mounted crane, or with an excavator from upland. The stones will be stored while the sheet pile is being installed. After installation of the sheet pile the revetment will be constructed in its original location using the original stones.
Incidental dredging is required. There are two revetments fronting the existing bulkhead. These must be temporarily removed and stored during construction. The revetments will be replaced after the bulkhead has been replaced. Incidental soil loss may occur during the bulkhead replacement.
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 proposed construction will have no adverse effect on the existing seagrass according to the benthic survey conducted in February and September 2022. Temporary mooring points may be used by the barges to avoid spudding in areas with known seagrass beds. Turbidity barriers will be installed around active work zones to control turbidity. The proposed location of the turbidity barriers is approximately 1 foot inside the edge of the seagrass or 35 feet from the existing seawall where seagrass beds do not exist. Manatee bars will be installed on the stormwater outfall pipe. The applicant will commit to require its contractor to abide by standard manatee protection conditions during construction. In addition, work will only occur during daylight hours.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The applicant has stated that no compensatory mitigation should be required because the project does not directly or indirectly impact hardbottom or other aquatic resources.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: 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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus); swimming sea turtles: (green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta]); smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata); and the Giant Manta Ray (Mobula birostris). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposal will not adversely affect any other listed threatened or endangered species or their 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 0.03 acre of un-vegetated submerged benthic 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.
NAVIGATION: The proposed project is located within the setback of a Federal Navigation Channel (Intracoastal Waterway). Based on the Florida State Plane coordinates provided by the applicant, the waterward edge of the proposed structure is 62 feet away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel.
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.
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, STE 500, Palm Beach, 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, STE 500, Palm Beach, 33410; by electronic mail at Patricia.R.Clune@usace.army.mil or by phone at 561-785-3261.
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: This public notice serves as the notification to the EPA pursuant to section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act. Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.
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.