Mr. Chairman, at this time I would like to yield to Ralph Ken-
nedy, the chairman of the Port Canaveral Board of Commissioners,
to briefly present the additional request for $640,000 to correct the
cost sharing of rock relocation, and the $1.
million request for
widening the entrance of the channel to accommodate longer ships
that will soon be using the port.
[The statement of Mr. Weldon follows:]
Testimony of Congressman Dave Weldon (FL-15)
House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Energy and Water Development
February 28, 1996
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate this opportunity to
update you about water projects in the 15th Congressional District of Florida.
I want to thank you and the Subcommittee for your past support for several vital
projects especially those involving the economic development of Port Canaveral, the
Sand Bypass Mitigation Project at the Port, and the Brevard County Storm Damage
Prevention Study. A number of these projects still need your attention.
In summary, appropriations I am requesting include:
$4 million for completion of the initial bypassing of sand at Port Canaveral - a
project authorized since 1962 but which the Corps has failed to fulfill;
$500,000 to initiate the Preconstruction and Engineering Design (PED) phase
of a storm damage prevention project in Brevard County, Florida to mitigate
damage caused by the federal navigation inlet;
$640,000 to correct the cost sharing of rock relocation along the north and south
sides of the improved navigation channel; and
$1 .3 million for widening at the entrance channel for the safety of the longer
ships using the recently deepened navigation channel.
Port Canaveral Sand Transfer Project
I want to begin by asking your support for urgently needed funds to complete the initial
sand bypassing work from the north side of the Canaveral navigational inlet to the
shoreline south of the channel.
The problem stems from the digging of the Port Canaveral inlet by the United States
Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s. While the Port is a tremendous economic
asset, for many years we neglected to address its adverse environmental side effects.
Wave action normally moves sand from north to south along Florida's Atlantic coast.
But, the port's inlet and jetties trap sand that would otherwise replenish the beaches to
the south. This federally constructed inlet has resulted in severe erosion to beaches
south of the inlet.
This erosion has enormous costs.
Over the 40-year history of the Port, we have lost approximately 14 million cubic yards
of beach-grade sand. Using an estimate of $7 per cubic yard to replace sand on the
beach, we would be talking about almost $98 million worth of sand lost to the beaches.
Add to this the cost to taxpayers of $20 million - currently $521,000 per year - to
dredge this sand from the channel and haul it out to sea. I am not suggesting that we
restore the beach to this degree, but I say this to illustrate the magnitude of the
Tourists and weekend visitors to these beaches spend about $1 billion a year. Eroded
beaches mean fewer tourists and fewer dollars to this already economically strapped
There is also a national security issue. Shoaling in the Canaveral Channel is forcing
restrictions on the operations of Trident submarines based there. I understand from
the Navy that they currently have only a few hours of high tide to get submarines into
and out of the Port.
After numerous studies over many years regarding various methods of sand
bypassing, the Corps has settled on a two-phase approach. The first phase was to
extend the existing jetty 500 feet and to sand tighten the entire jetty. This phase is
complete and is working as designed. The second phase involves conventional
dredging to bypass approximately 636,000 sand from beaches north of the jetty to
beaches south of the jetty once every five or six years. A contract was awarded in
1994 to accomplish the tDypassing. However, the work was not completed because
the Corps miscalculated the amount of material needed to accomplish the work based
on the nature of the sand being bypassed. The material was of a finer grain than the
Corps had assumed. As a result, when the contractor completed the beach placement
in April 1995, the sand only covered 8,000 feet instead of the 12,800 called for in the
The issue of completing this work (the additional 4,800 feet) has been under review by
Corps Headquarters and, based on a recent Chief Counsel legal opinion, the Corps
has agreed that the remainder of the initial sand bypassing work can be
accomplished. The work was scheduled for FY 1996 but had to be postponed until
1997 because of the sea turtle nesting season.
The $4,000,000 I am requesting will complete the initial sand bypassing work over the
remaining 4,800 feet of beach.
Brevard County Storm Damage Prevention Project
I would ask that the Committee provide $500,000 to initiate the Preconstruction and
Engineering Design (RED) phase of a storm damage prevention project in Brevard
County. The Army Corps of Engineers will soon complete a study that was begun in
1982. The project has a strong 1.7 to 1 benefit-cost ratio and is strongly supported by
the local community. The Corps would normally move to PED after the completion of
the study. However, based on the Administration's new policy regarding storm
damage prevention projects, the continuation of the project will undoubtedly require
specific guidance from the Committee. We appreciate the strong support expressed
by the Committee last year for projects of this type and ask that the $500,000 be
included in 1997 for the Brevard County project.
A significant portion of this project is a mitigation effort to repair some of the damage
done to the south beaches by the inlet. As early as the mid-1950s, the Corps
identified adverse impacts the inlet was having on the south beaches. The federal
government has a responsibility to mitigate the damages caused by the inlet. The
proposed project would not replenish the beaches to the pre-inlet status, but would
restore them to a point where the beach would serve as a protection from storms. I
fully support this. It is our responsibility.
Additionally, Brevard County beaches have one of the highest concentrations of sea
turtle nests in North America. Each year thousands of these endangered species
come ashore to lay their eggs. Restoring these beaches will restore and protect this
Canaveral Harbor Widening And Deepening: Rock Relocation Cost
The Widening and Deepening Project at Port Canaveral was authorized by Section
101 of the 1992 WRDA - Public Law 102-580. The project called for widening the
main channel to 400 feet and deepening the inner channel reach to 40 feet and other
widening and deepening improvements. In particular, the widening of the inner
channel required "pushing" the existing north and south sides of the channel back.
This entailed dredging/excavation and relocation of the rock along the north and south
sides of the channel.
The Report of the Chief of Engineers dated July 24, 1991, which serves as the
authorizing document cited in P.L. 102-580, called for the rock relocation to be the
financial responsibility of the non-Federal sponsor. The requirement was based on
treating the rock relocation in the same manner as a relocation of a utility or a road. In
1994, the non-Federal sponsor, pointed out to the Corps that this interpretation was
inconsistent with the way such relocations affected by the widening of the channel had
been treated on other projects.
The Corps Jacksonville District investigated this matter and concurred with the non-
Federal sponsor's view. The Corps' South Atlantic Division in Atlanta and the Director
of Civil Works in Washington concurred in this view. Corps Counsel, however, while
agreeing that the relocation should have been cost shared, stated that the adjustment
could not be accomplished administratively but would require legislation in order for
the adjustment to be made.
The Jacksonville District Engineer advised Port Canaveral of this decision on March 9,
1995, and indicated that " - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking the necessary
action to have legislative language added to the proposed Water Resources
Development Act (WRDA) of 1995 which will change the authorized project and
appropriately classify the revetments as general navigation features." Corps
Headquarters has indicated that it plans to have such legislation included in their 1996
WRDA. The Senate included such a provision in Section 102(c) of S. 640, and I feel
confident that the House will include a comparable provision.
Mr. Chairman, I am requesting that $640,000 be appropriated under the Construction,
General account to reimburse the Port for a portion of the costs incurred by the non-
Federal sponsors, (i.e., the 75 percent difference between the non-Federal cost of
LERRDs versus the general navigation features).
Widening the Widener at the Ent rance Channel
The recently completed Widening and Deepening Project authorized in the 1992
WRDA has allowed the Port to accommodate deeper draft vessels. Deeper draft
vessels are now calling at the Port and more ships requiring the 39-foot main channel
depths can be expected in the future. Although the channel depths are currently
adequate, the newer ships are longer (over 800 feet) and require wider turns at full
channel depth at the wideners.
When entering Port Canaveral from the sea, it is necessary to run the ship from
compass heading 310 to 270, a turn of 40 degrees. This turn is outside the jetties.
The pilots report that in bad weather ships are in an area where they are exposed to
the full force of the elements and where, because of this fact, tugs most likely cannot
help. They also state that the turn must be done after the ships have slowed down or
are slowing down. Large, deeply loaded vessels carry their way for a long time. They
must be slowed down well in advance, and at a slow speed, rudder power is
diminished. This creates an unsafe situation for large, deeply loaded ships with a
potential for grounding which would result in damage to the vessel, grave
environmental damage, and possible loss of life.
Similar potential problems exist for longer cruise ships. Although they do not draw
nearly as much water as tankers and bulk carriers, strong winds create a problem and
could endanger their passengers. Obviously, this situation has to be corrected as
safety is of the utmost concern.
The Corps has reviewed this situation and has determined that, consistent with
existing law (Section 5 of the River and Harbor Act of 1915) and official Corps policy, it
is appropriate to accomplish the bend widening work under the operation and
maintenance program. The Corps is preparing a brief report documenting the
situation with funds available in FY 1996 and would be prepared to accomplish the
bend widening in the 1997 dredging cycle.
I am asking that the $1.3 million be included for this work as an added increment to the
normal operation and maintenance budget request.
Florida Solar Energy Center
The Florida Solar Energy Center is a national leader in photovoltaics research and
development and was designated the Southeast Photovoltaic Regional Experiment
Station by the Committee last year. This research is a cooperative effort with New
Mexico State University and its programs are directed towards economic development
of new industries and related jobs.
The cooperative photovoltaics effort focuses on applications with the goal of
providing U.S. manufacturers with better products that are more competitive in the U.S.
and global marketplace. I am asking that $1,000,000 from the photovoltaic program
funds be made available to the Southeast and Southwest Regional Experiment
Stations to continue these ongoing programs.
Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, the widening and deepening
project authorized in 1992 widens our port to 400 feet wide and
deepens it to 40 feet in our east channel. Along with this, some ex-
isting rock revetments need to be relocated.
The Corps took the position that the Port should make up 100
percent of the cost. We pointed out to them that it is inconsistent
with other relocation projects the Corps has undertaken. The Jack-
sonville District of the Corps concurred with us. The counsel con-
curred. What we are looking for is new legislation to appropriate
the funds to reimburse the 75 percent Federal cost that Port Ca-
naveral has already incurred.
On widening the widener, the wider and deeper channel enabled
us to bring in larger and deeper cargo ships, but they are also
longer in length. Along with that the cruise industry, of which we
are the second largest cruise port in Florida and third in the coun-
try, the cruise ships are also coming in a lot longer. The angle at
which the ships have to turn to enter the channel is outside the
protection of the jetties, leaving them open and exposed to the ele-
ments. A strong wind or nor'easter could push these vessels out of
the channel and into shallow water, possibly running them
We are asking for $1.3 million in additional O&M funds for the
Corps when they come in with their fiscal year 1997 maintenance
timetable to dredge out about 300,000 cubic yards of sand to widen
the turning area for the ships that come in. But I would like to
point out that the Navy has had navigation trouble bringing the
Trident subs into that channel as well.
We appreciate the support this committee has given us in the
past and we hope you will look favorably upon us again.
Mr. Weldon. I thank Commissioner Kennedy for joining me and
I thank you for the opportunity to testify. You will be hearing testi-
mony later in the week from the director of the Florida Solar En-
ergy Center. The center is a national leader in photovoltaic re-
search, and I encourage Congress' continued support. The commit-
tee has supported their research efforts in the past and I strongly
encourage to you than and I thank you again for this opportunity
Wednesday, February 28, 1996.
HON. JOHN L. MICA, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Young. Mr. Chairman, I would like to introduce a distin-
guished member of our delegation. Mr. John Mica.
Mr. Mica. Thank you. I will try to be brief. I have two projects
I want to call to the committee's attention, the subcommittee's at-
tention, and ask for your support. The first is really a very impor-
If you stop and think of Florida as a peninsula, and you look at
the Everglades which they are now talking about spending in south
Florida a billion and a half dollars to restore, my district is in
central Florida near Oriando. North of that, from Cape Canaveral
all the way up through 12 counties to Jacksonville, is the St. Johns
River. This all has greater acreage than the Everglades, if you
looked at what is left.
I represent a district that has two new cities in the last 24
months. The growth is absolutely phenomenal. One city has over
60,000 people, and this growth is coming in this area. I am here
to ask you today to help on a project for $627,000 in the St. Johns
River Basin to complete a study there on water quality.
We have worked with the State, and we have just acquired about
16,000 acres. We have about 2,000 acres more to connect the Ocala
National Forest with the State park and preserve some of this
area, but the water quality here is so important. To save billions
down the pike — which you are going to spend, and I don't even
think that 1^2 will do the Everglades — ^we could spend a little bit
of money now for the future and preserve this area and the water
quality. So I am telling you, of all the projects that will come before
you, nothing will have a better cost-effectiveness than this one.
The other one, briefly, is Ponce de Leon Inlet. This is an inlet
north of Cape Canaveral. You have helped before on this. We have
had 20 deaths. We have had scores of capsizings. It is £in inlet that
is very unstable. We have had a lot of erosion, like other areas
We are asking for a total of $2.1 million to finish some of the
work there. They are spending money. We want to make sure the
money is spent right, and this will ensure that in fact it is done
in an orderly and proper fashion and the taxpayers get the best for
So those are my requests, and I also will join the other Members
and thank you for your patience to hear all of our requests.
Mr. Knollenberg. Thank you.
[The statement of Mr. Mica follows:]
Statement by Congressman John L. Mica
In Support of Florida Day
Before the House Appropriations Subcommittee
on Energy and Water
February 28, 1996
FY 1997 funding requests for federal water resource projects:
St. Johns River Basin Study $ 627,000
Completion of this study is required to review and evaluate existing water quality
problems and prevent future problems from developing in the St. Johns River.
Ponce De Leon Inlet Study $ 112,000
With construction scheduled to begin soon, this feasibility study should be
completed to determine how this navigation project can be modified to provide
a more stable and safe inlet.
Ponce De Leon Inlet Op eration &Maintenance $ 2,000,000
Maintenance dredging is performed at this inlet about every three years, and
construction is scheduled to being which will correct navigational and erosion
problems and eliminate safety hazards.
Congregg of tfje ?iamteli States
ij^ousie of i&epregentatibest
"ZZTJ^'^Hs^r^,.^ raasljington, ©C 20515-0907
STATEMENT BY CONGRESSMAN JOHN L. MICA
Mr. Chainnan and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity
to testify in support of Fiscal Year 1997 Budget fimding for federal water resource
projects in the State of Florida and the Florida Seventh Congressional District.
Today 1 would like to request the Committee's support for United States Army
Corps activities relating to the St. Johns River and the Ponce De Leon Inlet. These
important and vital projects impact the counties in my district as well as other counties
throughout the State.
Let me first begin wdth the St. Johns River, which spans a 12-county area in east
and central Florida. Unfortunately, this river has experienced many water quality
problems which have been evidenced by fish kills, algae blooms, and water quality
monitoring at selected sites.
Responding to this problem. Congress in 1984 directed the Corps to develop an
interim water quality management plan for the St. Johns River Basin. The proposed
feasibility study would assemble, review and evaluate existing data and information
needed to establish water quality management practices within the St. Johns River
system. An interim Phase 1 report was completed which recommended a model approach
to meet management and user needs. Phase U, which remains to be completed, will
continue the Phase I initiative and develop and calibrate a hydrodynamic/salinity model
for this river system. Finally, Phase 111 will develop and calibrate the water quaUty model
for the St. Johns River.
In summary, this study will develop water quality goals for the river basin,
establish a monitoring and oversight program, and recommend specific actions to meet
recommended goals. Implementation of the project should alleviate historical problems
and prevent future problems from developing in rapidly growing areas of the river basin
south of Jacksonville. Improved water quality will provide significant benefits to regional
economics, aesthetics, recreational opportunities, and commercial and sport fisheries.
February 28. 1996
Funding has been provided in Fiscal Years 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1994. The total
estimated federal cost for this project is $1,3 19,000 of which $692,000 has already been
allocated. This study also has a 50/50 cost sharing with the St. Johns River Water
Management District, and continuation of the study will be a cooperative effort with this
Florida State agency.
The requested funding for this Water Quality Management Study is $627.000
and I urge the Subcominittee to fully support this project
I would also like to express my support for Army Corps projects affecting the
Ponce De Leon Inlet. This natural harbor connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Halifax
River and the Indian River North, and is located on the east coast of Florida about 10
miles south of the City of Daytona Beach.
Ponce De Leon Inlet is the only access for recreational and commercial boaters in
Volusia County to the Atlantic Ocean. Both recreational and commercial use of the inlet
is heavy. Commercial trafGc consists of charter and head boats as well as commercial
fishing vessels. A U.S. Coast Guard Lifeboat Station is also located on the east shore of
the Indian River about 0.7 of a mile south of the inlet.
Federal interest in navigation at Ponce De Leon Inlet started as early as 1884. In
1943, with U.S. Navy funds as a war measure to aid passage of Navy and Coast Guard
ships, the Corps of Engineers dredged the inlet and interior connecting channels. In
1972, a federal project was completed at the inlet to improve navigation. The design
consisted of an entrance channel flanked by rock jetties, with the north jetty containing a
weir section connected to an impoundment basin to trap littoral sediments. Interior
channels were also dredged to connect the entrance channel with the Intracoastal
Although navigation has improved since this project was completed, a number of
problems still exist and other major problems have since arisen. A sand spit inside the
inlet and adjacent to die western end of the north jetty has undergone excessive erosion,
and intense shoaling on the south side of the entrance channel has essentially closed
navigational access to marinas. The entrance channel has migrated northward against the
north jetty and now threatens the integrity of the north jetty. The weir was closed in
1984. Maintenance and other costs have totalled nearly $22 million since 1972.
February 28, 1996
With the constant shifting of the channel the Coast Guard has ongoing problems
with navigation markers. Currently the outer end of the north jetty is marked by a single
light, and the iimer end of the jetty is awash. Navigation through the inlet is hampered by
numerous recreational vessels anchored in the navigation charmel along the south side of
the north jetty. Navigational safety remains a critical problem. Between 1981-1991,
Coast Guard records document 347 groundings, 109 vessels capsized, and 20 lives lost in
the vicinity of the inlet.
If nothing is done to stabilize this inlet, wetland areas within the immediate
vicinity will continue to suffer from erosion and changing conditions. The instability and
shifting of the rocks on the north jetty are harming marine life, and boating accidents in
the inlet may result in minor spills of oil and fuels as well as otfier chemicals.
Not only would a more stable inlet help provide a safer, more direct route for
navigation to the ocean, it would also reduce future maintenance costs on the project
With the occurrence of a major storm, there is a very real probability that a breakthrough
near the west end of the nortfi jetty will occur within the next five years. A feasibility
study nears completion which will determine how to provide a more stable and safe
I urge the Subcommittee to support SI 12.000 for completion of this fMaibility
Finally, operating and maintenance funds are vitally needed to perform dredging
which should alleviate navigational obstructions and reduce safety hazards. In addition
construction was scheduled to begin in Fiscal Year 1997 of a scour ^ron to provide
stability at the north jetty. Fiscal Year 1996 funds, totalling $278,000, are allocated for
preparing the design and envirormiental documents for this construction. The scouring
has been so extensive that the designed scour apron limits extend outside the structure's
footprint. Because of the extended limits of the maintenance, a State of Florida water
quality certificate is required, which has delayed construction of die scour apron until
Fiscal Year 1997. The Ponce De Leon Inlet north jetty maintenance will be added to tfie
Army Corps' FY 97 Capability Schedule.
I urge the Subcommittee to support S2.000.000 for operation and maintenance