NOAA’s U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Office proposes to allocate federal funds to the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, one of 11 regional coastal observing systems that comprise U.S. IOOS®, for the installation and maintenance of an oceanographic high frequency radar station. HFR measures the speed and direction of surface currents in the ocean up to 200 km from shore. Surface current data is important for public safety, aiding search and rescue operations, tracking offshore material spills, and monitoring water quality. SECOORA — through a subcontract with the Florida Institute of Technology, a private, not-for-profit, research-intensive university located in Melbourne, Florida — plans to install this station at Hightower Beach Park in Satellite Beach, Florida.
The HFR consists of 12 single monopole antennas. The system will operate at 13.5 MHz. Signage will be installed at Hightower Beach Park to inform visitors about the radar system. To learn more about HFR and its uses, visit: https://hfradar.ioos.us/.
The National Environmental Policy Act requires the U.S. IOOS Office to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from a proposed action. In the assessment we discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings:
- geology and soils.
- land use.
- water resources, fisheries, and wetlands.
- cultural resources.
- vegetation and wildlife.
- air quality and noise.
- endangered and threatened species.
- public safety.
- cumulative impacts.
The U.S. IOOS Office has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes the environmental impacts of the installation of the HFR station proposed by SECOORA & FIT.
We have evaluated the possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project and made recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas. The final EA is now available for public review, as is the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).