The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District opens public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) regarding construction of features of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP). Comments are due June 12, 2020.
The Draft EA and proposed FONSI for regarding construction of features of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project are available for review at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/PicayuneStrand.
The Corps will accept written comments through June 12, 2020 via email to Michael.T.Simmons@usace.army.mil (recommended subject line: "Picayune Strand Draft EA Comments"). If additional assistance is needed, please contact 561-801-5734.
The Draft EA and Proposed FONSI is supplemental to previous National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents completed for the PSRP. The Draft PSRP EA and Proposed FONSI addresses the construction of design refinements for the Southwest Protection Feature (SWPF) levee with additional conveyance features, and the partial plugging of the Faka Union Canal, which is a change in sequence from the original authorization. These refinements will provide continued flood risk reduction that is required to complete the remaining portions of the PSRP project.
The Southwest Protection Feature levee, which will provide continued flood risk reduction for the agricultural lands southwest of the PSRP, must be constructed prior to the plugging of the remainder of the Faka Union Canal, Miller Canal, and Western Stair Step Canal. Most of the project benefits will be realized once these remaining features are completed, including the rehydration of the Picayune Strand State Forest and improvement of freshwater deliveries to the downstream estuaries.
The Corps plans to proceed with award of the construction contracts for both the SWPF levee and conveyance features for the PSRP in late September 2020. The Jacksonville District Operations Division team will complete construction required for the partial plugging of the Faka Union Canal.
The Picayune Strand Restoration Project was authorized under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2007. The purpose of this project is to restore and enhance the wetlands back to pre-development hydrology in a 55,000-acre housing development, known as Southern Golden Gates Estates. The project is located in Collier County, south of I-75 and north of U.S. Highway 41, between the Belle Meade Area and the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. Implementation of the project will improve the water deliveries to coastal estuaries by moderating the large salinity fluctuations caused by freshwater point discharge of the Faka Union Canal. The project includes a combination of pump stations, spreader basins, canal plugs, and road removal.
Due to the size and complexity of this project, implementation and construction has been phased throughout multiple years.
The PSRP was authorized by Section 1001(15) of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007, Public Law 110-114, and amended by Section 1401(9)5 of the WRDA of 2016, Public Law 114-322.
For additional information, visit the Picayune Strand Restoration Project page at www.saj.usace.army.mil/PicayuneStrand.