Sunday, August 31, 2008

PBCEC Letter to Army Corps of Engineers Opposing Roebuck and Jog Road

Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition
¨Fighting for healthy ecosystems, open space and quality of life in Palm Beach County¨
822 North C Street, Lake Worth, FL 33460 561-588-9666

August 27, 2008


Justin W. Hughes
District Corps of Engineers
Department of the Army
2170 SW Canal Street
Stuart, FL 34997

Re: Roebuck Road Permit Application No. SAJ-2008-2749 (IP-JWH) and

Jog Road Permit Application No. SAJ-2006-6142 (IP-JWH)

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition (PBCEC) is opposed to the construction/extension of these roads. We suggest a denial of this permit and the pursuit of a no-build option. The cumulative impacts will be a great burden to the public and the permits for new, extended roads do not adequately take into the consideration for public transportation increases, and other available options, to address traffic concerns in a safer, more cost effective, environmentally sensitive manor.

The impacts to hydrological flow and wildlife habitat in the Loxahatchee Slough ecosystem are unacceptable. Participants in the PBCEC utilize the wetlands of Grass Waters Preserve for recreation and drinking water supply and we must fight to protect these important public resources from encroachment by poorly planned urban infrastructure projects such as those represented by Roebuck Road Permit Application No. SAJ-2008-2749 (IP-JWH) and Jog Road Permit Application No. SAJ-2006-6142 (IP-JWH).

The greater Everglades Ecosystem, which consists of interconnected shallow and underground water flow, has taken impacts from urban development far beyond its capacity to sustain a regionally viable watershed. It is the subject of the world's largest, most ambitious restoration endeavor—the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). These roads threaten to negatively interfere with quality and quantity of water and habitat that are intended for improvement through the Northeast CERP effort to restore water availability to the Loxahatchee Slough and River.

The Grass Waters Preserve is also a key component of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area (NENA) plan, which is an collaborative interagency effort to maintain and improve the regions wildlife recreational access, including Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management, South Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other various local governing bodies. We feel these roads will negatively impact the NENA process.

Thank you for considering our comments. If you have any questions regarding our position, please do not hesitate to get in touch,

Panagioti Tsolkas
Co-Chair, PBCEC

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