The Army Corps of Engineers want to allow more and bigger ships than this in this inlet and recreational area?
Press activity on the Port today and a new issue as a result.
Army Corps withdraws permit application for Port of Palm Beach project
The controversial Port of Palm Beach dredging project has been delayed after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ withdrawal of a permit application with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Port officials said Tuesday that the move is not a setback, but will make the Corps’ study of the environmental aspects of the proposed dredging of the Lake Worth Inlet at Palm Beach Harbor even stronger.
The Corps action slows the $88.6 million project that is opposed by a coalition of environmental, recreational and civic groups.
Fish Feeding and Breeding Area
Corps withdraws permit application for inlet expansion
Plans to deepen and widen the Lake Worth Inlet took a step backward Tuesday.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is withdrawing its permit application with the state Department of Environmental Protection because the Corps needs more time and money to address environmental concerns.
The DEP required more details of the Corps’ plans to offset damage to the inlet’s hard bottom and sea grasses before a July 2 deadline to approve the next phase of the inlet dredging project.
Mayor Gail Coniglio said Corps’ Jacksonville District Engineer Col. Alan Dodd called her Tuesday morning to notify her of the withdrawal.
“I felt great excitement, great relief and deep gratitude,” Coniglio said. “This is an opportunity to take a step back and find the best possible outcome where everyone has the opportunity to participate and come to the best conclusion, including the port, West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Palm Beach Shores, the environmental community and business entities.”
Sand trapped in and around Lake Worth Inlet. Dredging plan.
New Issue: Inlet Maintenance
By: R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communication Director
In the Army Corps press release, there was a statement that should cause concern to the Town of Palm Beach and beaches to the south:
"The permit application had also included extension of the ongoing maintenance dredging with beneficial reuse of beach quality sand on the downdrift beaches. As a result, the Corps is considering its options for continued maintenance dredging beyond March of 2015, when the current permit expires."
The Corps "considering its options" is an issue of concern. The Corps should continue the dredging of beach quality sand from inside of the inlet and placing the sand on beaches to the south. The Corps originally constructed the inlet and it has been a major factor in starving and eroding Palm Beach County beaches south.
The Civic Association will continue to advocate maintenance dredging for both the benefit of our beaches and the Port of Palm Beach which needs the inlet cleared to get their current fleet of ships in and out of the port.
The Army Corps Press Release
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers withdraws Lake Worth Inlet FDEP permit
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today announced the withdrawal of the Lake Worth Inlet, Palm Beach Harbor Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit application for the authorized deepening and widening project.
This project was recently authorized for construction by the Water Resource Reform and Development Act of 2014. The Corps is withdrawing the permit application until additional appropriations are received to begin the Preconstruction, Engineering, and Design (PED) phase. The Corps made this decision after notifying the local non-Federal sponsor, the Port of Palm Beach.
The PED phase involves transforming the authorized project from the feasibility study into detailed plans and specification for contractual procurement. Estimated to be a two-year process, additional design parameters and information are analyzed and could provide alternative mitigation and monitoring protocols for inclusion in the permit application.
“A lot of time and effort has gone into this project’s permit application so far and we feel certain additional investigations and research during the PED phase will be invaluable to the permitting process,” said project manager Laurel Reichold.
The permit application had also included extension of the ongoing maintenance dredging with beneficial reuse of beach quality sand on the downdrift beaches. As a result, the Corps is considering its options for continued maintenance dredging beyond March of 2015, when the current permit expires. Obtaining water quality certification for construction of the deepening and widening project and associated mitigation is now pushed off until the PED phase, which Reichold says is slated for the 2016-2017 timeframe.
For detailed information on the Lake Worth Inlet plan and similar port projects, please visit www.saj.usace.army.mil