Okaloosa (Florida) study calls for beach nourishment works

Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, USACE Commanding General and 55th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers has signed the Okaloosa County, Florida Coastal Storm Risk Management Study Chief’s Report representing the completion of the study and making it eligible for congressional authorization.

The Chief’s Report recommends a beach nourishment project consisting of a berm and dune along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline of Okaloosa County in two areas which are considered separable elements. This includes approximately 17,000 feet along Okaloosa Island and approximately 16,000 feet in West Destin.

In the Okaloosa Island reach, the plan consists of a dune with a crest elevation of 14 feet-North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88), with a crest width of 10 feet with side-slopes of 5 horizontal (H):1 vertical (V), and a berm with a crest elevation of 5.5 feet NAVD88, with a berm crest width of 10 feet with a foreslope of 15H:1V. The initial nourishment in this area will require about 100,000 cubic yards of fill material being placed primarily within the dune system.

In West Destin, the plan consists of providing a dune with a crest elevation of 14 feet NAVD88, with a crest of 10 feet with side-slopes of 5H:1V, and a berm with a crest elevation of 5.5 feet NAVD88, with a berm crest width of 30 feet with a foreslope of 15H:1V. The initial nourishment in this area will require about 460,000 cubic yards of fill material.

“Hurricanes and future sea level rise continue to threaten our coastal communities in Okaloosa County,” said Col. Jeremy Chapman, Mobile District Commander. “These beach projects will mitigate this risk for the next 50 years.”

The Chief’s Report will now be submitted to the congressional authorizing committees for transmittal to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA (CW)) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for administration review. Subject to the availability of Federal appropriations, Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) will then be initiated.

Photo: USACE