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

      DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
      JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT CORPS OF ENGINEERS
      4400 PGA BOULEVARD, SUITE 500
      PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA 33410
      JANUARY 31, 2012

      PUBLIC NOTICE
      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
      PROJECT PURPOSE:
      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
      Act.
      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 Eric.G.Reusch@usace.army.mil, or by telephone at 561-
      472-3529.
      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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