Crews have been granted permission by the U.S. Army Corps of Army Engineers to begin dredging on the Ponce de Leon Inlet, making it more secure for anglers to navigate.
In addition, the dredging will offer additional beach nourishment for the nearby coastline. The Inlet itself has not been maintained to this extent in over ten years according to the Corps officials.
Those working on the project have already begun the mobilization phase of the eight-month-long hydraulic dredging project. In fact, crew members working on the project are expected to remove nearly 38,000ft² (3,530m²) of sand and debris, increasing the water depth to nearly 12ft (3.65m).
The Army Corps awarded this dredging contract to Cavache Inc of Pompano Beach, Florida. The company (owned and operated by Mr. Adam Adache and Mr. Anthony Cavo), has over 100 years of combined hydraulic dredging experience.
They have previously worked on similar types of projects such as the Florida Inland District project. For this project, the team from Cavache will be using an Ellicott 1170 “Dragon” dredge known as the “Maya Caelyn”.
The portable cutterhead dredge is a medium sized dredge that is designed to perform exceptionally well in typical conditions experienced in Atlantic inlets, and entrance channels from the Sea to inner coastal waterways.
“What is really unique about this specific project is that this is an offshore disposal placement project that requires pumping material offshore. The pumping distances are fairly lengthy, and our team is using multiple boosters to complete the project,” noted Cavache Principle Owner Anthony Cavo.
The sand that accumulated during Hurricanes Irma and Matthew will be pumped from the Ponce de Leon Inlet and transported to a nearby location, to be later used for beach nourishment.