Scope of Services (ongoing work by Aptim Environment and Infrastructure, Inc.)
The Shell Key North Pass and Grand Canal Feasibility Study will include a review of existing literature and available data, an evaluation of the ongoing monitoring program, an engineering site assessment and data collection recommendation, stakeholder meeting to gain public input, and an analysis of preliminary alternatives to support development of a conceptual plan as a future phase.
The methodology is focused on developing an alternatives analysis in a phased approach as further described below. Input from the public and regulatory agencies will be sought at key stages in the study to solicit feedback and knowledge in developing and evaluating potential alternatives. The outcome of the study will be documented in a feasibility report in a format that the County can make available to private and public interests as applicable and appropriate.
Task 1 - Literature Review and Data Gap Analysis (Dec 2018 - Jan 2019)
APTIM will perform a review of existing reports and data in sufficient detail to describe the background of the study area, previous assessments completed, and identify data gaps that would need to be addressed in future phases of the project:
1.1. Compilation and review of previous reports and information – This effort will comprise a literature review as the basis of the study background, which may include previously conducted analytical calculations, physical monitoring reports, sediment budget(s) and numerical modeling. The documents will include previous works such as the original management plan of Shell Key approved in 2000 and the 2018 plan update, documents and data from the 2013 dredging project and available post-construction monitoring data, records of previous public meetings, and the findings of the 2018 USF dual-inlet study of Bunces Pass and Pass-a-Grille Inlet.
1.2. Acquisition and evaluation of existing data, including ongoing monitoring – APTIM will endeavor to obtain existing information from publically available data sources, past and ongoing monitoring efforts, and County records. The data will be reviewed from an engineering standpoint with efforts limited to identifying trends and processes that may be contributing to the observed instability of SKNP. Available water quality records and pre-existing seagrass maps/data will also be reviewed from an environmental standpoint.
1.3. Ownership determination for Grand Canal – The County has indicated that there is a need to verify the ownership of Grand Canal and associated submerged land rights. APTIM staff and resources will be available to support the County in this effort, which will be limited in terms of creating maps from County provided information and related support. Actual determination of ownership, demarcation of legal boundaries, collection of survey data, and other real estate or land rights issues are not included in this scope of work.
Task 2 - Evaluate Ongoing Monitoring Program (Feb – Apr 2019)
APTIM will perform an evaluation of the ongoing monitoring program from the standpoint of sufficiency as it relates to industry standards and provide recommendations for adjustments, as needed:
2.1. Review scope and effectiveness of current monitoring programs – The current monitoring program will be reviewed for temporal sufficiency, spatial extent, state standards, and overall effectiveness for use in engineering evaluations and future work.
2.2. Recommended additional or revised monitoring, if needed – In the event that the ongoing monitoring program is found to be lacking in some manner related to future monitoring in light of results of Task 1 and the potential for future engineering works, recommended adjustments to the existing program will be provided.
Task 3 - Field Assessment and Data Collection (Feb – Apr 2019)
APTIM will perform a site visit of Shell Key with particular focus on SKNP to collect field assessment observations, photographs and limited data to support observations and document the conditions:
3.1. Site visit to observe and document current conditions – APTIM staff will perform a site visit of the study area to document and evaluate the current condition of SKNP. The site visit will be used to support development of alternatives and assess the level of function the pass serves from a coastal processes standpoint. Observations will be limited to areas accessible by land; although, we will attempt to assess the conditions both above and below the water, if conditions allow. Observations will be supplemented by imaging the area utilizing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone. The images will be used in the subsequent phases of the study and included in the deliverables package.
3.2. Identify additional data collection needs and analysis to fill knowledge gaps – Based on the results of the preceding tasks and previous data collected by others, additional data collection needs and analysis will be recommended as appropriate to fill data gaps. Since these needs are yet to be identified, collection of new survey data is not included in this scope of work. If data or analysis gaps are identified, suggested methods and extents will be identified for future phases of the work.
Task 4 - Preliminary Alternatives Analysis (May – September 2019)
The overall intent of this preliminary alternative analysis is to identify the pros and cons for feasible options to re-open SKNP and avoid, and/or mitigate, the potential for closure of the southern opening to the Grand Canal:
4.1. Stakeholder Meeting #1 to present knowledge base and gain public input – As part of the alternatives analysis, APTIM will attend a meeting with project stakeholders. The goal of this meeting will be to develop an understanding of the concerns of the local residents and waterway users with regard to SKNP and Grand Canal. In particular, waterfront residents adjacent to the Preserve will be invited to participate in order to gain a better understanding of the pass dynamics and extent of dependence on the pass for boating access to open waters. The previous dredging project will be reviewed for feedback on perceived performance and potential concepts for alternatives will be discussed in such a manner to seek a balance between the project need, environmental issues, regulatory limitations, and inherent coastal processes.
4.2. Scoping Meeting with relevant environmental regulatory agencies – Implementation of any alternatives arising from this study is expected to require permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In an effort to seek regulatory feedback early in the process, APTIM will prepare for and attend a scoping meeting with the County and other relevant environmental regulatory agencies to present the information compiled in the previous tasks and seek guidance on regulatory limitations and expected permit application requirements. It is anticipated that the FDEP meeting will occur in Tallahassee and a conference call with webinar will be used for the USACE and federal agencies.
4.3. Develop preliminary alternatives for initial screening, including dredging – A limited alternatives analysis to complete a screening of at least three preliminary concepts each for the SKNP and Grand Canal will be developed and incorporated into the feasibility study. Alternatives will be developed to a level sufficient for comparison based on the findings of the site visit, literature and coastal processes review, previous work by others, field assessment, and meetings with stakeholders and regulatory agencies. This alternatives development will be conceptual in nature and may consider options based on dredging configurations, potential for structural installations, inlet stability evaluation, and assessment of potential shoaling of Grand Canal. Several initial alternatives will be considered for initial screening, and the most feasible preliminary alternative(s) will be identified for potential evaluation in the next phase.
4.4. Prepare Feasibility Report – APTIM will prepare a feasibility report to describe the project area and objectives of the study, provide the findings of the site visit, summarize the literature review and coastal processes, and identify data gaps. The report will also include the alternatives analysis, feedback from stakeholders and regulatory agencies, results of the preliminary screening effort, and the study findings and options for the next phase of work. The feasibility report will to be submitted to the County and will be focused on information necessary for the County to evaluate the alternatives. The supporting technical data will be attached as appendices.
Task 5 – Presentation of Findings (October 2019)
Upon completion of the study, the findings of this phase of the project will be presented to the public as Stakeholder Meeting #2 and to Pinellas County in a format such as a Board of County Commission meeting:
5.1. Stakeholder Meeting #2 – APTIM will prepare for and attend a second meeting with project stakeholders. The goal of this meeting will be to present the findings of the feasibility study to the local residents and waterway users with regard to SKNP and Grand Canal.
5.2. Pinellas County – APTIM will also prepare for and attend a meeting of Pinellas County to present the study findings to County staff and the Board of County Commissioners in a regularly scheduled meeting, workshop, or other format as deemed appropriate by the County.
This scope of work is intended to bring the project through the initial feasibility phase of the project. No data collection, field activities, numerical modeling, or new research services other than those specifically proposed will be conducted as part of this scope of services. It is understood that the ownership determination in Task 1 will be performed by the County. If additional data is required but not available from existing sources, a separate fee proposal for data collection will be prepared for Pinellas County by APTIM for those tasks. The specific details of the proposed tasks, and schedule presented below, are subject to change pending the prosecution of the work.
APTIM will commence work during December 2018 and anticipates completing the work within ten (10) months. The tentative schedule is to complete Task 1 by the end of January 2019. Tasks 2 & 3 is planned for February through April of 2019, to be completed at a sufficient level such that Task 4 can commence in May 2019. A stakeholder meeting is scheduled to take place in spring/summer of 2019 along with a scoping meeting to solicit feedback from the regulatory agencies. The alternatives analysis is to be completed during the summer of 2019 such that the final Feasibility Report could be delivered to the County in September 2019. The presentations described in Task 5 will be scheduled according to County preference and availability.