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) as described below:
APPLICANT: Jonathan’s Landing Property Owner’s Association, Inc.
Attention: Donna Harran
3755 Barrow Island Road
Jupiter, FL 33477
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect Waters of the United States associated with the residential canals within the community of Jonathan’s Landing and subdivision’s entrance channel, which connects to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The project site is located at 3755 Barrow Island Road, Sections 6 and 7, Township 41 South, Range 43 East, in Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 95, take exit 87A for Indiantown Road/ FL-706 East. Continue for 3.5 miles and make a left onto Alternate A1A/ FL-811 and head south for 0.9 miles. Turn left at the traffic light for Barrow Island Road and go through guard gate to enter Jonathan’s Landing Community.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is to improve navigation for a multi-family residential community.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to improve navigation for the residents in Jonathan’s Landing Subdivision in Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida
PROJECT HISTORY: The Corps issued a standard permit SAJ-1992-00300 (SP-JKA) dated July 19, 2018, which authorized maintenance and new dredging within 34.6 acres of the Jonathan’s Landing Subdivision manmade canal system. This includes maintenance dredging 1.7 acres of the entrance channel to minus 7 feet mean low water (MLW), removing approximately 1,500 cubic yards of material; maintenance dredging a previously authorized 0.70 acre dredge area to minus 6 feet MLW by removing 1,000 cubic yards of material; and dredging 32.2 acres of the remainder of the interior canal system to an elevation of minus 6 feet MLW (removal of approximately 2,500 cubic yards). The edge of the dredging cut maintained a 3:1 horizontal to vertical slope. Dredging was to be performed using mechanical or hydraulic dredge. Spoil was to be disposed of on site, at two upland locations adjacent to the canals on existing golf course greens.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The waters within the Jonathan’s Landing subdivision are estuarine and tidally influenced. There is an existing mangrove fringe consisting of red (Rhizophora mangle), black (Avicennia germinans), and white (Laguncularia racemose) mangroves along both shorelines, bordering proposed dredging locations. Additionally, a benthic survey completed on September 23, 2022 documented the locations of paddle grass (Halophila decipiens) and Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of single-family residential homes.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks re-authorization to perform maintenance and new dredging within 34.7 acres of the Jonathan’s Landing Subdivision canal system (removal of 5,500 cubic yards of dredge material). This includes a 7,000 square foot (0.16 acre) expansion from the previously authorized dredging footprint. Specifically proposed dredging includes:
1. Maintenance dredging a previously authorized 76,000 square feet (1.74 acres) of the entrance channel to minus 7 mean low water (MLW);
2. Maintenance dredging a previously authorized 29,000 square feet (0.67 acre) dredge area to minus 6 MLW;
3. Dredging a previously authorized 1,400,000 square feet (32.14 acres) portion of the interior canal system to an elevation of minus 6 MLW;
4. Dredging a 2,000 square feet (0.05 acres) portion of the interior canal system to an elevation of minus 6 MLW;
5. Dredging a 5,000 square feet (0.11 acres) portion of the remainder of the interior canal system to an elevation of minus 6 MLW.
Dredging will be completed with an excavator on a construction barge. Spoil is to be temporarily placed in an on-site upland staging area until it is transported to an upland disposal area.
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 will implement best management practices, including the use of turbidity curtains. Proposed dredging will not impact seagrass and mangroves. The applicant proposes to include a 5-foot buffer which is measured from the most waterward edge of the mangrove root structures and a 10-foot buffer from the edge seagrass to the edge of dredging boundary. The applicant has agreed to stake the waterward edge of the buffer every 10 feet along the boundary of proposed dredging footprint to prevent encroachment into the buffers during construction.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION –The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
“Although seagrass and mangroves are located adjacent to the dredging footprint, no impacts are proposed or anticipated. Therefore, no compensatory mitigation is required.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of recorded historic resources within or adjacent to the permit area and 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 the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the swimming sea turtles: (green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata); Giant Manta Ray (Mobula birostris); West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus); Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi); and wood stork (Mycteria americana). 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 by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or 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 34.7 acres of unvegetated silty sand substrate 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 activity is not located in the 100-foot setback of the Intracoastal Waterway, a federal navigation 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, 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, Kyle Nichols, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at Kyle.H.Nichols@usace.army.mil; or by telephone at (561)785-5644.
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.
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. The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 50-128996-010-EM.
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.