Intent to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Nourishment of 7.25 Miles of Beach, the Repositioning of the New River Inlet Channel, and the Implementation of an Inlet Management Plan, in North Topsail Beach, Onslow County, NC, 28924-28926 [05-9995]

Download as PDF 28924 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 96 / Thursday, May 19, 2005 / Notices kite, indigo snake, Audubon’s crested caracara, wood stork, and grasshopper sparrow. Endangered and threatened species in the KB include: —Endangered: Bald eagle, snail kite, wood stork, whooping crane, and Audubon’s crested caracara, and Florida grasshopper sparrow. —Threatened: Indigo snake. —State listed as threatened species: Sandhill crane. —Species of special concern: American alligator, snowy egret, gopher tortoise, osprey, burrowing owl, limpkin, little blue heron, least tern, and tricolored heron. Fluctuating water levels of the lake littoral zones are important for over wintering waterfowl that utilize these lakes during migrational periods. Wading birds use the littoral zone as an important feeding habitat. Alternatives: The various scheduling alternatives will be developed upon modeling based on the determination of the existing environment and the goals to be attained. The no action alternative will be considered. Issues: The proposed action is to modify the regulation schedules for the Upper Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, to include periodic extreme low water stages for the purposes of enhancing the lake’s environmental resources and improving the physical and chemical characteristics of these lakes. This habitat enhancement technique involves lowering lakes to consolidate bottom sediments and expand desirable aquatic plant communities. The extreme drawdown of these areas mimic low water conditions prior to flood control (activities which result in more stable water levels than would occur naturally). Low water levels historically occurred about every seven to ten years. The drawdown will be coordinated with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Habitat enhancement activities would be carried out by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation commission (FWC) or other acting under it. The FWC would obtain all necessary permits. Enhancement activities may include muck removal, burning, discing and herbicide application to reduce dense vegetation, tussock formation and organic build-up on lake bottoms. Scoping: Scoping public and agency comments on this work will begin June 2005 by means of a scoping letter. In addition, all parties are invited to participate in the scoping process by identifying any addition concerns on issues, studies needed, alternatives, VerDate jul<14>2003 22:14 May 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 procedures, and other matters related to the scoping process. At this time, there are no plans for a public scoping meeting. Public Involvement: We invite the participation of affected Federal, state, and local agencies, affected Indian tribes, and other interested private organizations and parties. Coordination: The proposed action is being coordinated with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and with the State Historic preservation Officer. Other Environmental Review and Consultation: The proposed action would involve evaluation for compliance with guidelines pursuant to section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act; application to the State of Florida for Water Quality Certification pursuant to section 401 of the Clean Water Act; and certification of state islands, easements, and rights of way. Agency Role: As non-Federal sponsor and leading local expert; the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) will provide extensive information and assistance on the resources to be impacted, mitigation measures, and alternatives. DEIS Preparation: It is estimated that the DEIS will be available to the public on or about November 2006. Dated: May 10, 2005. Dennis W. Barnett, Acting Chief, Planning Division. [FR Doc. 05–9996 Filed 5–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–A5–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Intent to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Nourishment of 7.25 Miles of Beach, the Repositioning of the New River Inlet Channel, and the Implementation of an Inlet Management Plan, in North Topsail Beach, Onslow County, NC Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of intent. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Wilmington District, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office has received a request for Department of the Army authorization, pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbor Act, from the Town of North Topsail Beach to nourish approximately 7.25 miles of PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 beachfront to protect residential homes and town infrastructures, and to implement an inlet management plan with the New River Inlet to control the positioning of the inlet channel. The new channel will be centrally located perpendicular to the adjacent shorelines of North Topsail Beach and Onslow Beach. The proposed source of the material for the nourishment will be dredged from offshore borrow area(s) and from the repositioning of the inlet. The placement of beach fill along the Town’s shoreline would result in the initial widening of the beach by 50 to 100 feet. The widened beach would be maintained through a program of undefined periodic beach nourishment events with the material extracted primarily from the New River Inlet. The ocean shoreline in the Town of North Topsail Beach encompasses approximately 11.1 miles along the northern end of Topsail Island. Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing a Federal shoreline protection plan for parts of North Topsail Beach. This Federal plan will only cover 3.85 miles of the southern part of the beach. The remaining 7.25-miles of North Topsail Beach, with the exception of two small areas, is located within the Coastal Barrier Resource System (CBRS), which prohibits the expenditure of Federal funds that would encourage development. Therefore, the Town is pursuing to develop this non-Federal shoreline protection plan that will preserve existing development and infrastructure along the 7.25 miles of shoreline. The channel through New River Inlet has been maintained by the COE for commercial and recreational boating interest for over 55 years. The COE is authorized to maintain the channel in the inlet to a depth of 6 feet mean low water (mlw) over a width of 90 feet. DATES: A public scoping meeting for the Draft EIS will be held at Dixon High School located on Highway 17, on June 7, 2005 at 6 p.m. Written comments will be received until June 21, 2005. ADDRESSES: Copies of comments and questions regarding scoping of the Draft EIS may be addressed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, Regulatory Division, ATTN: File Number 200500344, Post Office Box 1890, Wilmington, NC 28402–1890. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action and DEIS can be directed to Mr. Mickey Sugg, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office, telephone: (910) 251–4811. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Project Description. The Town of North Topsail E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 96 / Thursday, May 19, 2005 / Notices Beach, located along the north-northeast 11.1 miles of Topsail Island, North Carolina, is proposing to nourish approximately 7.25 miles of beach and reposition New River Inlet channel as a means to address a severe erosion problem that is threatening development and town infrastructure. The entire stretch of the Town’s shoreline has experienced a considerable amount of erosion over the last 20 years due primarily to the impact of numerous tropical storms and hurricane during the mid to late 1990’s and due to impacts of the uncontrolled movement of the main ebb channel in New River Inlet. The Town has stated that the shoreline erosion and residual effects of the storms have left North Topsail Beach in an extremely vulnerable position with regard to its ocean front development and infrastructure. They have estimated that over $250 million in property tax value as well as roads, water and sewer lines, and other utilities are at risk. The project area is divided into the North Section and the Central Section (Note: The South Section is part of the Federal shoreline protection plan). The North Section is further divided into two parts. One comprises approximately 5,800 linear feet, or 1.1 mile, of the project and is located along the northern end of the island. This area will receive material solely from the dredging of the New River Inlet when the channel is repositioned and realigned through the ebb tide delta. The new channel is expected to result in widening of the north of the Town’s shoreline as the shoreline responds to the ebb tide delta configuration that would accompany the relocated channel. In addition to the placement of the material in the North Section, a portion of the inlet material will be deposited on the southern end of Onslow Beach as part of the comprehensive inlet management plan in order to maintain the existing sediment budget on Onslow Beach. The second part of the North Section is approximately 14,200 linear feet along the shoreline and will receive sand from the offshore borrow site(s). The Central Section is located both north and south of NC Hwy 210/55 Bridge and is approximately 16,500 linear feet. Material used to widened this section of the beach will also be obtained from the offshore borrow area(s). 2. Proposed Action. The scope of activities for the formulation of the shoreline protection and inlet management plans for the Town of North Topsail Beach includes: (a) Detailed geotechnical investigations to define potential offshore borrow site(s); (b) evaluation and design of a new VerDate jul<14>2003 22:14 May 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 channel for New River Inlet and the development of an inlet management plan; (c) design and evaluation of beach fill sections including an assessment of the potential impacts of the offshore borrow area(s) on sediment transport; (d) near shore and inlet habitat mapping; and (e) hard bottom investigations. All geospatial data collected for the North Topsail Beach project will be included in a GIS database developed for the project. Potential offshore borrow areas, previously identified by work conducted by the Wilmington District Corps of Engineers, will be evaluated in detail using jet probes; seismic, sidescan, and magnetometer surveys; as well as vibracores. Samples of the offshore material collected form the jet probes and vibracores will be used to define the preliminary boundaries of the offshore borrow area(s) and make a preliminary determination of the compatibility of the borrow material to the native beach material. The boundaries of the potential borrow area(s) will take into consideration the location and extent of hard bottom resources identified by the sidescan and seismic surveys, as well as in-waters surveys. The boundaries of the proposed offshore borrow site(s) will also be refined to avoid historically significant archaeological artifacts located by the magnetometer surveys and verified through field investigations. Once the boundaries of the potential borrow area(s) are finalized, a final sediment compatibility analysis will be conducted. The beach fill designs presented in the feasibility study will be refined by analyzing existing profiles to determine potential erosion and storm impacts on back beach features such as vegetation, structures, and infrastructure. Specific designs will be developed for up to five characteristic profiles for the Central and North Sections. Design variations will be considered at discrete beach sections where unique upland features require special accommodation. The composite nature of the final beach and inlet design will require a more complex sequencing in construction operations than normally required for renourishment projects. The method and order of operations will be determined in order to optimize constructability and reduce costs. Beach planform performance will be evaluated based on the numerical modeling for the proposed projects. The GENESIS numerical model will be used in conjunction with a wave transformation model (STWAVE) to evaluate shoreline positions in time. The wave transformation model will be PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28925 used to determine changes in wave patterns associated with the near shore borrow area(s). The state-of-the-art GENESIS version will be used so that the project area may be incorporated into a single simulation domain. The historical changes of the project area shoreline will be used to calibrate and verify the model, using an error minimization approach. Adjustments to the wave data used as input within the models will be made as required to replicate observed performance. The GENESIS model will be used to identify optimum alongshore fill placement. A detailed geomorphic study of New River Inlet was accomplished during the feasibility phase of the project development. The geomorphic study used aerial photographs to evaluate changes in New River Inlet from 1962 and 2003 and develop relationships between the configuration of the New River Inlet ebb tide delta and the behavior of the shorelines on the north end of the North Topsail Beach and the south end of Onslow Beach. The geomorphic study concluded that the most desirable location and orientation of the channel through the ebb tide delta, in terms of impacts on the adjacent islands, is one located closer to North Topsail Beach and oriented essentially perpendicular to the general alignment of the adjacent shorelines. The feasibility phase of the project development also included a preliminary numerical model evaluation of the impact of the relocated channel of flows and flow distributions in the New River Inlet complex. The next phase of the channel design will include additional numerical model evaluations of a wider range of channel alternatives (channel depths, widths, and locations) and will incorporate modifications in the configuration of the ebb tide delta expected to occur in response to the new channel. The reconfigured ebb tide delta will also be used to determine the potential changes in wave patterns north and south of New River Inlet and the impacts these changes could have on longshore sediment transport and shoreline behavior. The potential shoaling characteristics of the new channel will be evaluated using empirical shoaling algorithms developed for inlets in North Carolina. The propensity of the new channel to migrate to the north and/or south and possible future changes in the channel alignment will be based on observed changes in New River Inlet as documented by the geomorphic analysis. The potential changes in longshore sediment transport patterns on North Topsail Beach and Onslow E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 28926 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 96 / Thursday, May 19, 2005 / Notices Beach associated changes in wave patterns together with the channel shoaling analysis will be used to develop a with-project sediment budget. The with-project sediment budget will be compared to the existing sediment budget to determine sand bypassing requirements that would be needed to maintain the existing sediment budget of the adjacent islands. 3. Issues. There are several potential environmental issues that will be addressed to the FIS. Additional issues may be identified during the scoping process. Issues initially identified as potentially significant include: a. Potential impact to marine biological resources (benthic organisms, passageway for fish and other marine life) and Essential Fish Habitat, particularly Hard Bottoms. b. Potential impact to threatened and endangered marine mammals, birds, fish, and plants. c. Potential impacts to water quality. d. Potential increase in erosion rates to adjacent Onslow Beach. e. Potential effects on military training on U.S. Marine Corps Camp Lejeune Base. f. Potential impacts to Navigation, commercial and recreational. g. Potential impacts to the long-term management of New River Inlet. h. Potential impacts to private and public property. i. Cumulative impacts of Inlet and Inlet channel relocations throughout North Carolina. j. Cumulative impacts for using inlets as sand source in nourishment projects. k. Potential impacts on public health and safety. l. Potential impacts to recreational and commercial fishing. m. The compatibility of the material for nourishment. n. Potential economic impacts. 4. Alternatives. Several alternative borrow areas are being considered for the proposed project. These alternatives will be further formulated and developed during the scoping process and an appropriate range of alternatives, including the no federal action alternative, will be considered in the EIS. 5. Scoping Process. A public scoping meeting (see DATES will be held to receive public comment and assess public concerns regarding the appropriate scope and preparation of the Draft EIS. Participation in the public meeting by federal, state, and local agencies and other interested organizations and persons is encouraged. The COE will also be consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under VerDate jul<14>2003 22:14 May 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 the Endangered Species Act and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and with the National Marine Fisheries Service under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Endangered Species Act. Additionally, the EIS will assess the potential water quality impacts pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, and will be coordinated with the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (DCM) to determine the projects consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act. The COE will closely work with DCM through the EIS to ensure the process complies with all State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements. It is the COE and DCM’s intentions to consolidate both NEPA and SEPA processes to eliminate duplications. 6. Availability of the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS is expected to be published and circulated sometime in early 2006, and a public hearing will be held after the publication of the Draft EIS. Dated: May 12, 2005. George T. Burch, Chief of Staff. [FR Doc. 05–9995 Filed 5–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–6N–M participation in the approval process would defeat the purpose of the information collection, violate State or Federal law, or substantially interfere with any agency’s ability to perform its statutory obligations. The Leader, Information Management Case Services Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer, publishes that notice containing proposed information collection requests prior to submission of these requests to OMB. Each proposed information collection, grouped by office, contains the following: (1) Type of review requested, e.g. new, revision, extension, existing or reinstatement; (2) title; (3) summary of the collection; (4) description of the need for, and proposed use of, the information; (5) respondents and frequency of collection; and (6) reporting and/or recordkeeping burden. OMB invites public comment. Dated: May 13, 2005. Angela C. Arrington, Leader, Information Management Case Services Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer. Office of the Undersecretary DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY: Department of Education. SUMMARY: The Leader, Information Management Case Services Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer invites comments on the submission for OMB review as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 20, 2005. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Carolyn Lovett, Desk Officer, Department of Education, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., Room 10235, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503 or faxed to (202) 395–6974. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) requires that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provide interested Federal agencies and the public an early opportunity to comment on information collection requests. OMB may amend or waive the requirement for public consultation to the extent that public PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Type of Review: New. Title: Private School Participation Study. Frequency: One time. Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; State, local, or tribal gov’t, SEAs or LEAs. Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: Responses: 1,490. Burden Hours: 745. Abstract: This review asks for clearance for an evaluation of the participation of private school students in federal education programs. Requests for copies of the submission for OMB review; comment request may be accessed from http:// edicsweb.ed.gov, by selecting the ‘‘Browse Pending Collections’’ link and by clicking on link number 2714. When you access the information collection, click on ‘‘Download Attachments’’ to view. Written requests for information should be addressed to U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Potomac Center, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20202–4700. Requests may also be electronically mailed to the Internet address OCIO_RIMG@ed.gov or faxed to 202–245–6621. Please specify the complete title of the information collection when making your request. Comments regarding burden and/or the collection activity requirements should be directed to Katrina Ingalls at E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 96 (Thursday, May 19, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28924-28926]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-9995]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Intent to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) 
for the Nourishment of 7.25 Miles of Beach, the Repositioning of the 
New River Inlet Channel, and the Implementation of an Inlet Management 
Plan, in North Topsail Beach, Onslow County, NC

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Wilmington District, 
Wilmington Regulatory Field Office has received a request for 
Department of the Army authorization, pursuant to Section 404 of the 
Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbor Act, from the 
Town of North Topsail Beach to nourish approximately 7.25 miles of 
beachfront to protect residential homes and town infrastructures, and 
to implement an inlet management plan with the New River Inlet to 
control the positioning of the inlet channel. The new channel will be 
centrally located perpendicular to the adjacent shorelines of North 
Topsail Beach and Onslow Beach. The proposed source of the material for 
the nourishment will be dredged from offshore borrow area(s) and from 
the repositioning of the inlet. The placement of beach fill along the 
Town's shoreline would result in the initial widening of the beach by 
50 to 100 feet. The widened beach would be maintained through a program 
of undefined periodic beach nourishment events with the material 
extracted primarily from the New River Inlet.
    The ocean shoreline in the Town of North Topsail Beach encompasses 
approximately 11.1 miles along the northern end of Topsail Island. 
Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing a Federal 
shoreline protection plan for parts of North Topsail Beach. This 
Federal plan will only cover 3.85 miles of the southern part of the 
beach. The remaining 7.25-miles of North Topsail Beach, with the 
exception of two small areas, is located within the Coastal Barrier 
Resource System (CBRS), which prohibits the expenditure of Federal 
funds that would encourage development. Therefore, the Town is pursuing 
to develop this non-Federal shoreline protection plan that will 
preserve existing development and infrastructure along the 7.25 miles 
of shoreline.
    The channel through New River Inlet has been maintained by the COE 
for commercial and recreational boating interest for over 55 years. The 
COE is authorized to maintain the channel in the inlet to a depth of 6 
feet mean low water (mlw) over a width of 90 feet.

DATES: A public scoping meeting for the Draft EIS will be held at Dixon 
High School located on Highway 17, on June 7, 2005 at 6 p.m. Written 
comments will be received until June 21, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Copies of comments and questions regarding scoping of the 
Draft EIS may be addressed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington 
District, Regulatory Division, ATTN: File Number 200500344, Post Office 
Box 1890, Wilmington, NC 28402-1890.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action 
and DEIS can be directed to Mr. Mickey Sugg, Wilmington Regulatory 
Field Office, telephone: (910) 251-4811.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Project Description. The Town of North 
Topsail

[[Page 28925]]

Beach, located along the north-northeast 11.1 miles of Topsail Island, 
North Carolina, is proposing to nourish approximately 7.25 miles of 
beach and reposition New River Inlet channel as a means to address a 
severe erosion problem that is threatening development and town 
infrastructure. The entire stretch of the Town's shoreline has 
experienced a considerable amount of erosion over the last 20 years due 
primarily to the impact of numerous tropical storms and hurricane 
during the mid to late 1990's and due to impacts of the uncontrolled 
movement of the main ebb channel in New River Inlet. The Town has 
stated that the shoreline erosion and residual effects of the storms 
have left North Topsail Beach in an extremely vulnerable position with 
regard to its ocean front development and infrastructure. They have 
estimated that over $250 million in property tax value as well as 
roads, water and sewer lines, and other utilities are at risk.
    The project area is divided into the North Section and the Central 
Section
    (Note: The South Section is part of the Federal shoreline 
protection plan). The North Section is further divided into two parts. 
One comprises approximately 5,800 linear feet, or 1.1 mile, of the 
project and is located along the northern end of the island. This area 
will receive material solely from the dredging of the New River Inlet 
when the channel is repositioned and realigned through the ebb tide 
delta. The new channel is expected to result in widening of the north 
of the Town's shoreline as the shoreline responds to the ebb tide delta 
configuration that would accompany the relocated channel. In addition 
to the placement of the material in the North Section, a portion of the 
inlet material will be deposited on the southern end of Onslow Beach as 
part of the comprehensive inlet management plan in order to maintain 
the existing sediment budget on Onslow Beach. The second part of the 
North Section is approximately 14,200 linear feet along the shoreline 
and will receive sand from the offshore borrow site(s). The Central 
Section is located both north and south of NC Hwy 210/55 Bridge and is 
approximately 16,500 linear feet. Material used to widened this section 
of the beach will also be obtained from the offshore borrow area(s).
    2. Proposed Action. The scope of activities for the formulation of 
the shoreline protection and inlet management plans for the Town of 
North Topsail Beach includes: (a) Detailed geotechnical investigations 
to define potential offshore borrow site(s); (b) evaluation and design 
of a new channel for New River Inlet and the development of an inlet 
management plan; (c) design and evaluation of beach fill sections 
including an assessment of the potential impacts of the offshore borrow 
area(s) on sediment transport; (d) near shore and inlet habitat 
mapping; and (e) hard bottom investigations. All geospatial data 
collected for the North Topsail Beach project will be included in a GIS 
database developed for the project.
    Potential offshore borrow areas, previously identified by work 
conducted by the Wilmington District Corps of Engineers, will be 
evaluated in detail using jet probes; seismic, sidescan, and 
magnetometer surveys; as well as vibracores. Samples of the offshore 
material collected form the jet probes and vibracores will be used to 
define the preliminary boundaries of the offshore borrow area(s) and 
make a preliminary determination of the compatibility of the borrow 
material to the native beach material. The boundaries of the potential 
borrow area(s) will take into consideration the location and extent of 
hard bottom resources identified by the sidescan and seismic surveys, 
as well as in-waters surveys. The boundaries of the proposed offshore 
borrow site(s) will also be refined to avoid historically significant 
archaeological artifacts located by the magnetometer surveys and 
verified through field investigations. Once the boundaries of the 
potential borrow area(s) are finalized, a final sediment compatibility 
analysis will be conducted.
    The beach fill designs presented in the feasibility study will be 
refined by analyzing existing profiles to determine potential erosion 
and storm impacts on back beach features such as vegetation, 
structures, and infrastructure. Specific designs will be developed for 
up to five characteristic profiles for the Central and North Sections. 
Design variations will be considered at discrete beach sections where 
unique upland features require special accommodation. The composite 
nature of the final beach and inlet design will require a more complex 
sequencing in construction operations than normally required for 
renourishment projects. The method and order of operations will be 
determined in order to optimize constructability and reduce costs.
    Beach planform performance will be evaluated based on the numerical 
modeling for the proposed projects. The GENESIS numerical model will be 
used in conjunction with a wave transformation model (STWAVE) to 
evaluate shoreline positions in time. The wave transformation model 
will be used to determine changes in wave patterns associated with the 
near shore borrow area(s). The state-of-the-art GENESIS version will be 
used so that the project area may be incorporated into a single 
simulation domain. The historical changes of the project area shoreline 
will be used to calibrate and verify the model, using an error 
minimization approach. Adjustments to the wave data used as input 
within the models will be made as required to replicate observed 
performance. The GENESIS model will be used to identify optimum 
alongshore fill placement.
    A detailed geomorphic study of New River Inlet was accomplished 
during the feasibility phase of the project development. The geomorphic 
study used aerial photographs to evaluate changes in New River Inlet 
from 1962 and 2003 and develop relationships between the configuration 
of the New River Inlet ebb tide delta and the behavior of the 
shorelines on the north end of the North Topsail Beach and the south 
end of Onslow Beach. The geomorphic study concluded that the most 
desirable location and orientation of the channel through the ebb tide 
delta, in terms of impacts on the adjacent islands, is one located 
closer to North Topsail Beach and oriented essentially perpendicular to 
the general alignment of the adjacent shorelines. The feasibility phase 
of the project development also included a preliminary numerical model 
evaluation of the impact of the relocated channel of flows and flow 
distributions in the New River Inlet complex.
    The next phase of the channel design will include additional 
numerical model evaluations of a wider range of channel alternatives 
(channel depths, widths, and locations) and will incorporate 
modifications in the configuration of the ebb tide delta expected to 
occur in response to the new channel. The reconfigured ebb tide delta 
will also be used to determine the potential changes in wave patterns 
north and south of New River Inlet and the impacts these changes could 
have on longshore sediment transport and shoreline behavior.
    The potential shoaling characteristics of the new channel will be 
evaluated using empirical shoaling algorithms developed for inlets in 
North Carolina. The propensity of the new channel to migrate to the 
north and/or south and possible future changes in the channel alignment 
will be based on observed changes in New River Inlet as documented by 
the geomorphic analysis. The potential changes in longshore sediment 
transport patterns on North Topsail Beach and Onslow

[[Page 28926]]

Beach associated changes in wave patterns together with the channel 
shoaling analysis will be used to develop a with-project sediment 
budget. The with-project sediment budget will be compared to the 
existing sediment budget to determine sand bypassing requirements that 
would be needed to maintain the existing sediment budget of the 
adjacent islands.
    3. Issues. There are several potential environmental issues that 
will be addressed to the FIS. Additional issues may be identified 
during the scoping process. Issues initially identified as potentially 
significant include:
    a. Potential impact to marine biological resources (benthic 
organisms, passageway for fish and other marine life) and Essential 
Fish Habitat, particularly Hard Bottoms.
    b. Potential impact to threatened and endangered marine mammals, 
birds, fish, and plants.
    c. Potential impacts to water quality.
    d. Potential increase in erosion rates to adjacent Onslow Beach.
    e. Potential effects on military training on U.S. Marine Corps Camp 
Lejeune Base.
    f. Potential impacts to Navigation, commercial and recreational.
    g. Potential impacts to the long-term management of New River 
Inlet.
    h. Potential impacts to private and public property.
    i. Cumulative impacts of Inlet and Inlet channel relocations 
throughout North Carolina.
    j. Cumulative impacts for using inlets as sand source in 
nourishment projects.
    k. Potential impacts on public health and safety.
    l. Potential impacts to recreational and commercial fishing.
    m. The compatibility of the material for nourishment.
    n. Potential economic impacts.
    4. Alternatives. Several alternative borrow areas are being 
considered for the proposed project. These alternatives will be further 
formulated and developed during the scoping process and an appropriate 
range of alternatives, including the no federal action alternative, 
will be considered in the EIS.
    5. Scoping Process. A public scoping meeting (see DATES will be 
held to receive public comment and assess public concerns regarding the 
appropriate scope and preparation of the Draft EIS. Participation in 
the public meeting by federal, state, and local agencies and other 
interested organizations and persons is encouraged.
    The COE will also be consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service under the Endangered Species Act and the Fish and Wildlife 
Coordination Act, and with the National Marine Fisheries Service under 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Endangered Species Act. Additionally, the 
EIS will assess the potential water quality impacts pursuant to Section 
401 of the Clean Water Act, and will be coordinated with the North 
Carolina Division of Coastal Management (DCM) to determine the projects 
consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act. The COE will closely 
work with DCM through the EIS to ensure the process complies with all 
State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements. It is the COE and 
DCM's intentions to consolidate both NEPA and SEPA processes to 
eliminate duplications.
    6. Availability of the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS is expected to be 
published and circulated sometime in early 2006, and a public hearing 
will be held after the publication of the Draft EIS.

    Dated: May 12, 2005.
George T. Burch,
Chief of Staff.
[FR Doc. 05-9995 Filed 5-18-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3710-6N-M