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Full Text of Public Notice to Fill and Plant Sea Grass in Northern Lake Worth

JANUARY 31, 2012

Permit Application No. SAJ-2012-00131(IP-EGR)
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: This district 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 Board of County Commissioners
Department of Environmental Resources Management
C/o Robert Robbins, Director
2300 North Jog Road, 4th Floor
West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
WATERWAY & LOCATION: The project is located in navigable waters of the United States,
in Lake Worth Lagoon, east of 1300 U.S. Highway 1, North Palm Beach (Section 4, Township
42 South, Range 43 East), in Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 in Palm Beach Gardens, exit PGA Boulevard and
head east to U.S. Highway 1. Head south on U.S. Highway 1 to the project site located in Lake
Worth Lagoon, east of 1300 U.S. Highway 1.
LATITUDE & LONGITUDE: Latitude 26.839° North
Longitude 80.055° West
Basic: The basic project purpose is to enhance the aquatic environment.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to create seagrass habitat in eastern Palm Beach County.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to cap approximately 42 acres of muck sediment
in a dredge hole (average depth -17 feet NAVD) area known as Turtle Cove with approximately
640,000 cubic yards of sand to create approximately 37.8 acres of seagrass habitat with an
elevation of -6 feet NAVD. The project includes signage for seagrass protection. The applicant
has not requested compensatory mitigation credit for the project.
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 project
would result in improved aquatic habitat within the project area. Temporary construction
turbidity would be minimized through the use of turbidity curtains. The construction
methodology, including the construction of a submerged perimeter berm with subsequent fill
placed on the inside of the berm, would minimize turbidity in surrounding waters.
Compensatory Mitigation: The applicant has provided the following explanation why
compensatory mitigation should not be required: No impacts to seagrass or any other special
aquatic site are proposed. The project would result in a net increase in seagrass habitat based on
the success of similar projects completed by the applicant in Lake Worth Lagoon including the
Snook Islands Natural Area and the Ibis Isle Restoration Project.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of an open water dredge hole with an
average depth of -17 feet North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) and a minimum depth of -14
feet NAVD. The project site contains an average of 10 feet of muck sediment with no seagrass
based on project area substrate and depths. The existing area surrounding the project area
consists of open water, marinas, and residential/institutional development.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the
proposal may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the endangered West Indian manatee
(Trichechus manatus) and would not result in an adverse impact to its designated critical habitat.
The Corps has received U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with this determination
pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect
the endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), or the endangered/threatened swimming
sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lepidochelys kempii, Dermochelys
coriacea, Caretta caretta). The project would not result in an adverse modification of any
designated critical habitat for these species. The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries
Service’s concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species
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 42 acres of unvegetated
muck/sand substrate utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone
crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. Adverse impacts due
to construction would be temporary and the project would result in a net increase in seagrass
habitat. 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.
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 regulations
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 application should be submitted in writing to the District Engineer at
the above address within 30 days from the date of this notice.
If you have any questions concerning this application, you may contact Eric Reusch at the
letterhead address, by electronic mail at, or by telephone at 561-
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 aquatic
environment. This is based on an analysis of the applicant’s avoidance and minimization efforts
for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.

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