The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it has executed an agreement to use up to 2.4 million cubic yards of sand from the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to restore nearly 14 miles of shoreline for Brevard County, Fla. damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The restoration work will take place along two separate stretches of the county’s coast – the northern section covering 9.8 miles from the City of Cape Canaveral to Cocoa Beach (North Reach); the southern section covering 3.8 miles from Melbourne Beach to Indialantic (South Reach). Dredging is expected to begin in October 2013, with the sediment coming from a borrow site at Canaveral Shoals II in federal waters.
“BOEM understands the tremendous impact that storms such as Hurricane Sandy have upon both the ecology and coastal communities,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “As we move ahead with coastal restoration projects related to Hurricane Sandy, our Marine Minerals Program is forging stronger partnerships with federal, state and local agencies not only to restore but also to improve the resiliency of these areas,” Beaudreau said.
Under BOEM’s agreement with Brevard County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the beach nourishment project will provide storm damage protection to structures that would otherwise be threatened by chronic shoreline retreat and storm-induced erosion. The project will also maintain an area suitable for recreation and wildlife habitat in developed beach areas. This project will restore important sea turtle nesting habitat. In 2012 sea turtle nesting surveys counted a total of 3,104 loggerhead turtle nests, or 477 per half-mile in the South Reach project area. Green and leatherback sea turtles also utilize these beaches for nesting habitat.
BOEM manages non-energy minerals obtained from the OCS, including sand, gravel and shell resources for coastal restoration and protection, in addition to overseeing and regulating conventional and renewable energy development on the OCS. BOEM has the authority to convey, on a noncompetitive basis, the rights to these resources for shore, beach or wetland restoration projects, or for use in construction projects funded in whole or part, or authorized by the federal government. In exercising this authority, BOEM may issue a negotiated non-competitive lease agreement for the use of OCS sand to a qualifying entity.
The bureau has spent more than $30 million since 1992 on world-class scientific research that informs environmental assessment and leasing decisions concerning the use of OCS sand resources in beach nourishment and coastal restoration.
Press Release, July 28, 2013