Agreement signed for shoreline protection project in St. Lucie County

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) yesterday announced it has signed an agreement with the Army Corps and St. Lucie County, Florida, that will lead to the restoration and protection of approximately 3.3 miles of Atlantic coastline.

The agreement gives USACE access to 800,000 cubic yards of sand from federal waters just over 4 miles offshore St. Lucie County to rebuild the dunes and beaches on South Hutchinson Island, a barrier island. The work is part of the county’s ongoing Coastal Storm Risk Management Project.

“By making resources like this available, BOEM seeks to help coastal communities deal with the effects of climate change such as increased frequency of storms and flooding as well as sea level rise,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.

“It is reassuring that we can rely on support from BOEM in executing our missions to maintain and strengthen the coastal communities of Florida. BOEM has delivered time and again as a dependable resource manager to complement our district’s efforts to best preserve our coastlines,” commented Col. Andrew Kelly, District Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District.

The Corps will reconstruct the eroded dunes and beaches along 3.3 miles of shoreline on the southernmost reach of South Hutchinson Island. Work is expected to begin on or after Nov. 1 and be completed by April 2022.

The shoreline protection plan is based on the county’s experience in previous storms and simulations of what the impact of future storms would be on existing homes, condos, businesses, roads and other property on the island.

Photo: USACE