Additional borrow areas proposed for St. Johns County beachfill projects

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed additional offshore borrow sources to support future dredging and beach nourishment projects in St. Johns County, Florida.

According to the Corps, the Preferred Alternative that will support the county’s Shore Protection Project (SPP) at St. Augustine Beach and Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) project at South Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beaches includes dredging borrow areas S-1 for the St. Augustine SPP and N-3 for the CSRM project.

It proposes dredging beach compatible sand from the Outer Continental Shelf for the continued renourishment of the authorized project shorelines. Use of the alternate sand sources will serve to supplement, as needed, St. Augustine Inlet Complex sand borrow source sites, USACE said.

They also added that the continued use of the St. Augustine Inlet as the primary or only sand source for the St. Johns County projects is unsustainable. The additional, offshore borrow sources are needed to support future nourishment, potential emergency projects, and conceivable future authorized projects to reduce the risk of potential damages from waves, erosion, and storm surge caused by coastal storms to structures and infrastructure along the county shoreline.

However, the proposed action will not change the location or frequency of sand placement directed by the presently authorized CSRM and SPP projects.

The deadline for sending comments on the Preferred Alternative is Feb. 19, 2022.

Photo: USACE