The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District announces that operations have wound down on the Brevard County Beach Erosion Control Project with yesterday’s completion of the North Reach. The South Reach was completed in January.
Dredged beach sand now reinforces more than 10 miles of Brevard County shoreline.
The sand placement reconstructs areas of eroded beach and increases storm protection to upland development along portions of Brevard County. Side benefits are that it also helps restore shorebird and marine turtle habitat, and enhances recreational opportunities.
The South Reach work was 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. Jacksonville District is placing 7.5 million cubic yards of sand on 38.5 miles of eroded beaches in Florida as part of the FCCE program. A combination of federal funding was used to complete renourishment in the North Reach.
Corps Project Manager Cynthia Perez said the North Reach work began in mid-January, but abnormal weather conditions caused some delays. “It was the worst weather we’ve seen in a long time in the Brevard area. The weather kept changing the shoreline conditions from the original surveys, and three and four-foot sea swells made conducting new surveys by boat dangerous. High sea waves, winds, and near-shore wave turbulence also impacted the beach configuration itself,” she said. But the challenges were overcome.
When possible, the Corps of Engineers’ contractor, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) Company, conducted 24-hour operations, piping sand from an offshore site to the shoreline. Including both reaches, crews placed more than 1.66 million cubic-yards of beach quality sand on the county shoreline.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), U.S. Department of the Interior, played an important role in supplying the offshore borrow area that provided critical sand to the county. Through BOEM, GLDD was authorized to dredge up to 2.4 million cubic yards of beach quality sand from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to help rebuild approximately 10 miles of Brevard County shoreline.
“Our cooperation with BOEM and their role as the only federal agency authorized to grant access to OCS sand strengthens our ability to help coastal communities restore impacted areas and build resilience,” Perez said.
Perez also said officials from Brevard County, the project sponsor, were terrific to work with. “We had some challenges, but we all worked together to overcome them and provide the community with much needed storm protection.”
For more information on shoreline protection and Corps of Engineers projects in Florida, please visit www.saj.usace.army.mil. For more information about BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program, please visit http://www.boem.gov/Marine-Minerals-Program/.