The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has signed an agreement with the City of Jacksonville, Fla., and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorizing them to dredge nearly 1.4 million cubic yards of sand from federal waters for periodic renourishment of the Duval County shoreline.
The shore protection project, using sand from the seafloor of the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), will restore a 10-mile stretch of coast between the St. Johns River entrance and the Duval County/St. Johns County boundary along the Atlantic Ocean.
“Local communities and wildlife will benefit as the renourishment with OCS sand helps to reduce coastal erosion, limit deterioration of sea turtle and shorebird nesting habitat, and reduce the likelihood and frequency of increased property and storm damage along the coastline,” said BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper.
The last nourishment cycle took place in 2011; subsequent storm activity, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012, has eroded an average of 160,000 cubic yards per year from the Duval County shoreline.
Shore protection projects were first authorized in Duval County in 1965, and have taken place periodically since then.
Local beaches to be renourished extend from the St. Johns River to Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach on the southern edge. The sediment will be dredged from Duval Shoal S, a borrow site approximately six nautical miles from the placement area.
“Nourished beaches provide substantial storm protection and produce key benefits – including recreational, environmental, and economic. This multi-agency agreement provides a safeguard for Northeast Florida’s coastal communities and benefits the overall region,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Jason Harrah.
The dredging project, which is also supported by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, is expected to begin in the summer of 2016.