Jacksonville, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Jacksonville District invites the public to review and comment on the St. Johns
County, Fla., Coastal Storm Risk Management Project draft feasibility study and
The open comment period starts Thursday, Feb. 18, and ends
Apr. 4, 2016.
The study team, consisting of federal, state and local agency
officials, assessed the feasibility of providing federal coastal storm risk
management measures to portions of St. Johns County’s shoreline. Specific
problems in the study area include storm damage due to erosion, inundation, and
waves threatening infrastructure, natural habitat and recreational
Shoreline erosion severely threatens State Road A1A, the only
north-south hurricane evacuation route for communities along the
coastline. SR A1A is an integral part of
the county’s infrastructure and is essential for public safety prior to and
following major storm events.
The St. Johns County shoreline is approximately 42 miles
long. The Corps of Engineers examined opportunities to reduce the risk of
coastal damages and improve conditions on roughly 9.8 miles of beach. The study area consisted of 3.8 miles in the
South Ponte Vedra area, 3.7 miles in Vilano Beach and 2.3 in Summer Haven.
Other areas of the county’s shoreline were found to not have
excessive erosion such that infrastructure was threatened.
Alternatives considered in the study included no action,
non-structural measures (flood proofing, relocation, land acquisition, etc.),
shore protection with hard structures (seawalls, revetments, groins, etc.),
shore protection with soft structures (beach nourishment, geotubes, etc.),
combinations, and others.
The tentatively selected plan (TSP) includes beach and dune
nourishment within the Vilano Beach reach and a small portion of the South
Ponte Vedra Beach reach. During the
study process, the team screened out the Summer Haven area because St. Johns
County is already conducting managed retreat; and, most of the South Ponte
Vedra area due to its lack of public parking and access, which is a requirement
for a federal beach project.
The TSP design consists of a 60-foot seaward berm extension
and maintenance of the existing dune along 2.6 miles, approximately from the
southern end of the Serenata Beach Club to San Pelayo Court. The Corps anticipates an initial
construction, and then four periodic nourishment events at about 12-year
intervals. Initial construction would
use about 1.3 million cubic yards of material and the periodic nourishments
would use roughly 866,000 cubic yards each.
For more details on the draft study and environmental
assessment, please go online to www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/ShoreProtection/StJohns.aspx.
People can send comments by email to
Aubree.G.Hershorin@usace.army.mil or via mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Jacksonville District, Planning and Policy Division, Environmental Branch,
Attn: Aubree Hershorin, Ph.D., P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32207. The open comment period ends Apr. 4, 2016.