Flagler County gets additional $18 million for dunes restoration

Flagler County received good news this week when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection notified it that it was allocating an additional $18.06 million for dunes restoration.

Flagler County Government photo

“We will receive the amendment after July 1 (the beginning of the state’s new fiscal year),” said County Engineer Faith Alkhatib. “And no local match. We have a really great relationship with FDEP and have been working closely with them – especially in the aftermath of the storms when (FDEP) Secretary Shawn Hamilton came here to assess the damages.”

The amendment she was referring to is to the $17 million already allocated to Flagler County this past December as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s $106 million Recovery Plan following Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole.

The plan included a $35-million pledge to the county through the FDEP.

Flagler County is to receive other monies, notably $12 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency within “Category B” that covers “emergency protective measures” and is working to get another $6 million for “Category G” that covers “parks, recreational, and other facilities.”

“This will allow us to do a major renourishment project on 11.6 miles of our beaches,” Alkhatib said. “We will be able to do a dredging operation – like the Army Corps project – instead of a trucking operation, which is not as cost effective.”

According to the county, such a project will have to be designed and permitted, a process that will likely take 18 months to complete before dredging sand from an offshore borrow pit to renourish the dunes.