Corps completes Broward County beach renourishment
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District completed final inspections recently on the Broward County Beach Erosion Control Project, which reconstructed approximately 5.1 miles of eroded shoreline.
The sand placement increases storm protection to upland development between the Hillsboro Inlet and Lauderdale by the Sea. A side benefit is that this sand renourishment also helps restore shorebird and marine turtle habitat. The work is in response to impacts from Hurricane Sandy’s passage in 2012, and was 100% federally funded under the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency (FCCE) program.
Eastman Aggregate Enterprises, LLC of Lake Worth, Fla. started sand deliveries in early November, with crews placing approximately 126,700 cubic-yards of beach quality sand after trucking it from the E.R Jahan Ortona sand mine located in Moore Haven, Fla. An average of 130 trucks per day carried sand from the mine to the beach, each driver navigating two hours one-way to make a single delivery. The project required about 10,000 deliveries, which were all accident-free.
Corps Project Manager Cynthia Perez said the day-to-day operations were phenomenal and so was the community’s involvement and cooperation. Some people went above and beyond to do the right stuff.
“One resident reported that people were rolling-out a sand dune in the project area. We coordinated with our contractor who had before-and-after beach construction photos, and sent them with a report to the Department of Environmental Protection policy compliance biologist for action,” Perez said. DEP immediately began investigating the dune destruction. Dunes provide landward protection and animal habitat.
On another occasion, a Pompano Beach resident reported that sand wasn’t placed in front of the Star Light Towers between the building and where residents had planted rows of sea grass to help protect the beach. The area contained a small walking path, but the contractor couldn’t get vehicles through the area without destroying the vegetation.
The resident told Perez, “I’ll yank the vegetation out if you want me to, as long as you deliver the sand.” Perez requested that the area be inspected and quickly realized the low elevation between the towers and the vegetation would have a ponding-effect without the sand, which could potentially create an unsafe and unhealthy environment.
“I walked her through the DEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) permit process and within two days, DEP John ‘Fritz’ Wettstein reviewed and approved the vegetation’s temporary removal. The next day after the vegetation was removed, Eastman went back to place several truck loads of sand. If our relationship with DEP and the contractor weren’t so good, we couldn’t have gotten this done so quickly,” Perez said.
On another occasion, Eric Myers, Broward County Environmental Protection official, notified a resident that he had to move his catamaran from the beach so sand could be placed. Realizing the elderly man needed assistance, Myers along with Corps and Eastman employees relocated the catamaran off the beach. It was teamwork every step of the way, Perez said.
Jacksonville District is placing approximately 7.5 million cubic yards of sand on 38.5 miles of eroded beaches in Florida as part of the FCCE program.