Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

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SAJ-2020-03722 (SP-EWG)

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville Florida
Published April 12, 2024
Expiration date: 5/3/2024

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:  Ms. Melanie Weed
Pinellas County Environmental Management
2211 US Highway 19 North, Building 10
Clearwater, FL, 33765


WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Grand Canal (Pine Key Cutoff), Dents Channel, Pass-A-Grille Channel & the Gulf of Mexico. The dredging portion of the project is located at Pass-A-Grill Channel & Grand Canal – Dents Channel, in Section 20, Township 32 South, Range 16 East, and the beach nourishment (disposal) portion of the project is located at Pass-A-Grille Beach, in Section 19, Township 32 South, Range 16 East, Pinellas County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows:  From I-275 in Tampa to St. Petersburg approximately 26 miles. Take Exit 17 to merge onto FL-682/54th Ave South / Pinellas Bayway towards St. Pete Beach. Turn left onto Gulf Boulevard. Continue onto Pass A Grille Way and turn right onto 11th avenue.


Project Component
Dredging Pass-A-Grill Channel Cut 1 trough 3
Dredging Grand Canal
Disposal Pass-A-Grill Beach (beach Nourishment)

PROJECT PURPOSE:  Basic:  Dredging & Beach Nourishment

Overall: To conduct maintenance dredging and provide sand for the Pass-A-Grill Beach Nourishment Project

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The Pass-A-Grille Beach Nourishment (disposal) area has been evaluated in several previous Corps and Pinellas County Beach Erosion Control Project (PCBECP) planning documents.  This disposal area includes 13.6 acres of subtidal/unconsolidated sediment (below MHW) and 13.8 acres of beach habitat (above MHW).  No benthic resources (seagrass or hardbottom) are within the permitted (and previously constructed) Pass-A-Grille Beach fill template.

The County has completed the building of emergency dunes due to the impacts of Hurricane Idalia and a severe cold front that damaged the dune on December 15th-17th, 2023, at the Pass-A-Grill Beach (R-160-200 to R-165+500).  The previously existing dunes were eroded, and the County mitigated the storm damage by hauling sand and placing it in areas above the High Tide line.  Pinellas County Beaches are planned to be re-nourished by the Corps of Engineers and the County.  However, there are outstanding requirements that need to be completed to be able to use federal funds for the work.   Nevertheless, the County understands that the beach still needs nourishment to protect the dune and infrastructure at Pass-A-Grill Beach, as the dune system will need the beach re-nourishment to aid and provide protection.  The current constructed dune is +10 ft NAVD88 with a 1:4 slope and is vegetated.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to modify the previously authorized Grand Canal project under the Department of the Army Permit SAJ-2020-03722 issued on June 12, 2023, which authorized the County to dredge the Grand Canal (Dents Channel) to add maintenance dredging at the Pass-A-Grill Federal Channel and deposit the dredged material on the Pass-A-Grill Beach.

The County estimates that 138,000 cubic yards (CY) of material dredged from the Pass-a-Grille Channel area will be placed on Pass-A-Grille Beach (between R-160-200 and R-165+500) fill placement area.  The fill placement area is approximately 5,500 linear feet and encompasses approximately 27.5 acres (13.8 acres above MHW and 13.7 acres below MHW).  The County expects that 150,000 CY will be needed to fill the beach.  The County will dredge the remaining sand from the already authorized Grand Canal Project to re-nourish the beach template.

The dredging operation would be completed using either a hydraulic cutter head or a mechanical dredge.  If a hydraulic dredge is used, a submerged pipeline will be laid from Pass-A-Grille Channel to the Pass-A-Grille Beach (R-160-200 to R-165+500), avoiding any known SAV and utilizing authorized pipeline corridors to access the beach disposal area.  The dredge will connect to the submerged pipeline by a floating line.  Booster pumps and accessory vessels may be needed to accomplish the work.  The project may also be performed by mechanical methods, with a bucket, backhoe, excavator, or similar equipment mounted on a barge.  If this alternative method is used, the mechanical dredge would remove the material from the dredge areas and place it in a scow that would then be towed to the disposal area and emptied.  Sand will be pumped onto the Pass-A-Grille beach fill area (R-160-200 to R-165+500), where it will be graded within the lines and grades of the permitted template.

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 County proposes constructing this project with the already permitted Grand Canal Dredge to maximize the opportunity to fill Pass-a-Grille beach while onsite and increase the intervals in which the County places sand within the template.  If the projects are conducted separately, Pinellas County anticipates returning to Pass-a-Grille Beach to renourish the rest of the beach after only two years.  Allowing longer intervals between placing sand on Pass-a-Grille Beach will provide less disruptions to shorebirds, sea turtles, and other flora and fauna.  Using the Pass-A-Grill Channel dredged material may eliminate the need to return in 2 years to fill Pass-a-Grille beach because it will depend on the infilling of the Grand Canal rather than the eroded state of the beach.

Pinellas County will follow the guidance for avoidance/minimization of impacts to resources according to the USFWS Biological Opinion revised February 10th, 2023, and dated August 7th, 2017.  By completing the re-nourishment of the entire Pass-a-Grille beach at one time instead of in multiple sections, Pinellas County will be able to minimize impacts to sea turtles and shorebirds.  Pinellas County would anticipate an interval of 6 years between beach re-nourishments by going this route.  Please note, Pinellas County started monthly shorebird monitoring, in accordance with the BO, for the entirety of Pass-a-Grille beach in February 2024. 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:  Pinellas County will follow the guidance for avoidance/minimization of impacts to resources according to the USFWS Biological Opinion revised February 10, 2023, and dated August 7th, 2017. If impacts could not be avoided or minimized, Pinellas County and its contractor will seek consultation with FDEP and FWS for guidance on best practices.

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 made the following determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect, not likely to adversely affect” the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Piping Plover (Aphelocoma coerulescens), Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) (STSF) and the Red knot (Calidris canutus rufa).

Piping Plover (Aphelocoma coerulescens): The project area is located within the Piping Plover Consultation Area. According to the 22 May 2013 Programmatic Piping Plover Biological Opinion, Piping Plover habitat includes publicly owned land where coastal processes are allowed to function, mostly unimpeded. It generally does include public lands consisting of parks, preserves, and natural undeveloped shorelines and dunes. Piping Plover wintering habitat includes beaches, mudflats, sandflats, and barrier island beaches and spoils islands (Haig 1992). Piping Plover can be seen on ocean beaches and sand or algal flats in protected bays (Wilkinson and Spinks 1994). The project boundaries are within such habitats. The Applicant agreed that the Corps would include Reasonable and Prudent measures in the P3BO to the project proposal. Therefore, based on the P3BO, the Corps has determined that the proposed project “May affect, not likely to adversely affect” is appropriate, and consistent with the P3BO. No further consultation for the Piping Plover is not required. On August 7, 2017, FWS issued a Biological Opining (BO) FWS Log No. 04EF1000-2017-F-0070 that covers the Piping Plover.

Red knot (Calidris canutus rufa): The Corps has made the determination of “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” (MANLAA) for the Red knot. Critical habitat for the red knot has been designated. Consultation with USFWS is complete by Biological Opining (BO) FWS Log No. 04EF1000-2017-F-0070 received by correspondence dated August 7, 2017. In addition, On 10 February 2023 the Service by letter modified the 2017 BO and determined that following avoidance and minimization protocol included in the modified BO “would not destroy or adversely modify proposed critical habitat as a whole.” The applicant will follow the Reasonable and Prudent Measures, and requirements of the BO.

West Indian (Florida) manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris): The Corps has made the determination of “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” (MANLAA) for the West Indian manatee and its designated critical habitat. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion (SPBO).  This determination is based on the addition of Special Conditions described in the SPBO.

Nesting Sea Turtles: The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect, not likely to adversely affect” the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

Consultation with USFWS is complete by Biological Opining (BO) FWS Log No. 04EF1000-2017-F-0070 received by correspondence dated August 7, 2017. In order to minimize take of nesting and hatchling sea turtles, the USACE will abide by the terms and conditions in the Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion (SPBO; USFWS, 2015).

Note: On September 30, 2020, FWS Log No. 04EF1000-2020-E-01929 reviewed the Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (EA) with Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) Manatee County Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Pinellas County, Florida Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) feasibility study and its effects on nesting sea turtles: loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), piping plover (Charadrius melodus), rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) and West Indian (Florida) manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). The minimization measures, reasonable and prudent measures, and terms and conditions in the SPBO, P3BO, and Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work must be adhered to. The FWS determined that it is appropriate to apply to the SPBO and the P3BO by the Corps and concurred with these defeminations.

Smalltooth sawfish and Swimming Sea Turtles: The Corps utilized the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO), dated November 2017, to analyze the effects from 10 categories of minor in- water activities occurring in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean on sea turtles (loggerhead, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, hawksbill, and green); smalltooth sawfish; Nassau grouper; scalloped hammerhead shark, Johnson's seagrass; sturgeon (Gulf, shortnose, and Atlantic); corals (elkhorn, staghorn, boulder star, mountainous star, lobed star, rough cactus, and pillar); whales (North Atlantic right whale, sei, blue, fin, and sperm); and designated critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass; smalltooth sawfish; sturgeon (Gulf and Atlantic); sea turtles (green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead); North Atlantic right whale; and corals (elkhorn and staghorn) in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Corps has determined that the proposed project falls within the scope of the JAXBO.

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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. 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: Based on the Florida State Plane coordinates provided by the applicant, the waterward edge of the proposed project is 0.0 Nautical Miles away from the near bottom edge of the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel.

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 Tampa Permits Section, by electronic mail to Mr. Edgar W. Garcia at the following email: with the project number, SAJ-2020-03722, in the subject line.  Comments can also be submitted by mail at 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302 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 Edgar W. Garcia, Senior Project Manager, by electronic mail at, or in writing at the Tampa Permits Office at 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610, or by telephone at 813-769-7062.

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 was required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). FDEP issued permit no. 0221569-020-JM for this project.

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.