Taylor Engineering is preparing, in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the regulatory Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed St. Lucie County South Beach and Dune Restoration Project. The project intends to protect upland infrastructure and to re-create natural habitat lost to shoreline erosion. The USACE requires the EIS to meet federal agency obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The EIS weighs the impacts and benefits of project alternatives (including a no-action alternative) to develop a decision concerning the form of a project that USACE can permit under its statutory obligations. This EIS considers possible adverse impacts to the beach, nearshore hardbottom resources, and offshore sand borrow area resources and adjacent habitat. Issues addressed in the EIS include potential direct short-term (construction related), indirect, and cumulative effects on protected species, water quality, essential fish habitat (EFH), fish and wildlife resources, benthic communities, sediment transport, wave modification, cultural and socioeconomic resources, and aesthetics and recreation. Evaluation of these issues included development of Uniform Mitigation Assessment Methodology (UMAM) calculations to determine mitigation for hardbottom impacts and review of coastal engineering calculations addressing wave climate and sediment movement.