USACE Jacksonville publishes draft GRR/EIS of Tampa Harbor Navigation Improvement Study for public comment


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, has published a draft of its General Reevaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement (GRR/EIS) for the Tampa Harbor Navigation Improvement Study in Hillsborough County, Florida.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the GRR/EIS and related documents will be available for public review and comment for a period of 45 days.

The study investigated alternatives to provide efficient and safe navigation and maritime commerce in Tampa Harbor such as deepening and widening the existing federal navigation project. The proposed project consists of deepening ship channels, turning basins and turn wideners throughout the harbor to allow larger vessels to efficiently access Port Tampa Bay’s terminals.

The proposed improvements would remove approximately 21.3 million cubic yards of limestone rock, sand and silt from existing federal channels. USACE has identified numerous alternatives for dredged material placement, including open water disposal at an Environmental Protection Agency designated ocean dredged material disposal site; hardbottom habitat creation; island restoration at Egmont Key and Alafia Banks; beach placement at Fort De Soto; dredged hole restoration; seagrass creation; upland placement; and fill for upland expansion projects.

The draft GRR/EIS describes the existing environment of the project area and assesses the effects of the proposed project. All documents are available for review on the Jacksonville District’s Environmental Planning website:­Branch/Environmental-Documents/

On that page, scroll down to click on the “+” next to “Hillsborough,” which will open a collection of documents. Scroll down to “General Reevaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement (GRR/EIS) for the Tampa Harbor Navigation Improvement Study” to find the documents dated July 24, 2023.

A physical copy of the GRR/EIS and its appendices will be available for in-person review at the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, 900 North Ashley Drive in Tampa. Call (813) 273-3652 for hours and directions. 

Additionally, USACE Jacksonville District, invites the public to attend two informational meetings to learn more about the study. Both events will take place at Port Tampa Bay, 1101 Channelside Drive, Tampa, in the first-floor conference room. Dates and starting times are Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 17, at 9 a.m.

Both meetings will consist of a 30-minute poster session and conversation followed by a formal presentation of the study. Both sessions will present the same information and formal comments may be submitted at each. No prior registration is necessary and all are welcome. Call the Port at (813) 905-7678 for driving directions, parking and accessibility information. 

USACE Jacksonville strongly encourages public questions and comments on the study, which should be submitted via email to [email protected], or by U.S. Postal Service to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District

ATTN: Ms. Graceann Sparkman, Environmental Branch, Coastal Section

701 San Marco Blvd.

Jacksonville, FL 32207

Comments must be received by close of business on Sept. 11, 2023, for consideration.

Study fact sheets, background and updates are available at