Progress Reached on St. Lucie Inlet

Yesterday, Martin County and the Town of Jupiter Island made significant progress toward achieving a long term management agreement for the St. Lucie Inlet.

County Commissioners approved a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the county and the Town of Jupiter Island, taking a first step relating to a cooperative plan for managing the valuable Inlet sand.

In this initial collaboration, the County will contribute $6.275 million to a town project delivering 500,000 cubic yards of sand to be placed on the beaches of Jupiter Island. That will be added to the 1 million cubic yards of sand the town will be transferring to its beaches.

Sand from the St. Lucie Inlet, along with flood shoal sand, will be used for Bathtub Reef Beach and Sailfish Point beach renourishment projects; again as a more economical solution.

Our Agreement allows us to think in new ways about the needs and placement of sand for the adjacent beaches,” said Martin County Commission Chairman Ed Fielding. “It provides a process for being able to plan more efficiently and complete the Town’s project, as well as our own projects, in a timely manner and ahead of time.

The sand source for the town’s beach projects is an offshore area (known as “Borrow Area B”) that has been extensively evaluated to ensure it contains beach quality sand. The county and the town expect the sand from the next two Inlet dredging projects to be stored within the Town’s Borrow Area B thereby extending its usable life.

In addition, funding provided by the State legislature this year will allow the county to move forward with its Bathtub Reef Beach and Sailfish Point beach renourishment project. The county expects the state will issue the permit in the near future and the construction to begin in early 2016.

As part of the agreement between the county and the town, the town will not object to or impede the permits for the Bathtub Reef Beach and Sailfish Point beach renourishment projects.