The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has provided more than $116 million in grants over the last three years to coastal communities to assist with the nourishment of some of Florida’s beaches.
Grants are administered through the Beach Management Funding Assistance Program, which develops and implements a long-term, comprehensive beach management program for Florida.
Nearly half, or 409.9 miles, of the state’s 825 miles of sandy beaches are experiencing critical erosion. To date, funding provided by the state’s Beach Management Funding Assistance Program has resulted in the restoration and subsequent maintenance of more than 227.4 miles, or nearly 55 percent, of those critically eroded beaches.
Working together with local, state and federal government sponsors to achieve protection, preservation and restoration of coastal sandy beaches, the Beach Management Funding Assistance Program provides financial assistance up to 50 percent of qualified project costs.
The program is available to Florida’s counties, municipalities or special taxing districts for shore protection and preservation activities located on the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean or Straits of Florida.
Here are a few examples of some recent beach projects by coastal region that have received financial assistance:
SOUTHEAST FLORIDA’S GOLD COAST
- Bathtub Beach Nourishment and Sailfish Point Restoration: Construction began in February 2016 for the placement of approximately 370,000 cubic yards of sand on 4,276 feet of critically eroded shoreline at Bathtub Beach and Sailfish Point in Martin County. The $3.5 million project, funded by Martin County and DEP, is scheduled for completion in May 2016.
- Boca Raton: Construction began in February 2016 for the placement of more than 500,000 cubic yards of sand on 1.5 miles of beach on the Central Boca Raton beach segment. The $11 million project, funded by the city of Boca Raton and DEP, is estimated for completion in April 2016.
- Broward County: Construction began in January 2016 for placement of 750,000 cubic yards of sand along 4.9 miles of shoreline between Hillsboro Inlet and Port Everglades. The $44 million project, funded by Broward County, DEP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is estimated for completion by April 2016.
- Jupiter Island: Construction began in December 2015 for placement of approximately 1.6 million cubic yards of sand to replenish 6.5 miles of critically eroded shoreline on Jupiter Island, in Martin County. The $17.8 million project, funded by Jupiter Island, DEP and FEMA, is estimated for completion by April 2016.
- Palm Beach County’s Singer Island Dune: Completed in February 2016, this project included the placement of 12,000 cubic yards of sand on 1,550 feet of dune on Singer Island in Palm Beach County. The $380,000 project was funded by Palm Beach County and DEP.
- Palm Beach Harbor Maintenance Dredge: Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2016 for a maintenance dredging of the Palm Beach Harbor inlet, placing 150,000 cubic yards of beach-compatible sand on 3,500 feet of shoreline of the town, south of the inlet. The construction project is funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and DEP provides funding to the town of Palm Beach for monitoring through the Palm Beach Island Beach Management Agreement. The project is estimated for completion by April 2016.
FLORIDA’S WEST COAST
- Longboat Key: Completed in June 2015, this project included the construction of two permeable, adjustable erosion control structures, as well as a small beach nourishment to stabilize the North End of Longboat Key. The $2.2 million project was funded by Longboat Key and DEP. The entire island is scheduled to be nourished in segments during 2016 and 2017.
- South Siesta Key: Construction will begin in March of 2016 for the placement of approximately 750,000 cubic yards of sand on 1.9 miles of critically eroded shoreline in Sarasota County. The $20.3 million project, funded by Sarasota County and DEP, is estimated for completion by April 2016.
For fiscal year 2015-16, the Beach Management Funding Assistance Program will administer $32.1 million to 29 projects for feasibility, design, construction and post-construction monitoring efforts. More than $658 million in grants has been awarded to local governments since the dedicated funding source was established in 1998.