Chief's Report signing Sept. 26, 2022

Jacksonville, Florida (Sept. 26, 2022) -- Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commanding General and 55th Chief of Engineers, signed the Miami-Dade Coastal Storm Risk Management Project Chief’s Report for congressional approval Sept. 26, 2022.

The Recommended Plan calls for periodic beach nourishment of approximately 6.1 miles of county coastline, including construction of dune and berm features, through Bal Harbour Village, the Town of Surfside, and portions of the City of Miami Beach. In addition, a series of groins with a total combined length of more than 900 feet will be constructed in Bal Harbour.

“The Miami-Dade CSRM study found that we can reduce risk along the county’s ocean shoreline from erosion, inundation and wave attack through employing beach nourishment along with a series of groins,” said USACE Jacksonville planning team lead, Marty Durkin.

A variety of sand sources for the project have been identified, including bypass from the Baker’s Haulover Inlet and backpass from accretional areas of South Beach, as well as new offshore borrow areas within state offshore waters, he said.

The federal renourishment project will assure a 50-year extension of the present beach protection project, which comes to an end in 2025.

“For more than 45 years, Miami-Dade County has worked in partnership, as the Non-Federal Sponsor, with the Army Corps of Engineers to implement this important federal project, which serves as a critical component of our community’s resilience,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

“Without this re-authorization, our county would not be able to provide adequate erosion protection to our shoreline. We look forward to continuing this successful partnership for a new 50-year term, beginning in 2025.” 

“The Miami-Dade Coastal Storm Risk Management project is a major pillar of the matrix of shoreline stabilization and resilience actions we are undertaking to protect the national economic interests of the United States,” said Spellmon.

“These federal and local partnerships are a tangible, shared commitment to preserving and strengthening the coastal environments, economies and communities of the nation. Miami-Dade County in particular, with its thriving urban life and its beaches, is an American icon known around the world and a cultural and economic center of national and international significance. And USACE is committed, along with our steadfast partners, in ensuring its future viability and growth,” he said.

The signed Chief’s Report will be forwarded to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the Hon. Michael Connor, and then to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress for appropriation in an upcoming Water Resources Development Act, said Jacksonville District project manager, Chris McNees.

Initial construction will take place over the course of several years and calls for the placement of some 10 million cubic yards of sand over the 50-year period of the project. Renourishment of its various reaches is expected to take place at intervals of three to four years, and native vegetation will be planted to stabilize the fill and build beach resilience over time. 

The estimated project first cost is $368 million, which will be 57.6 percent federally funded, the remaining 42.4 percent funded by Miami-Dade County. The periodic renourishment costs will be shared, with the federal government providing 44.3 percent of funding, and the county 55.7 percent. The 50-year project’s average annual cost is estimated to be $6.9 million.

“I want to thank the USACE Jacksonville team, who have worked diligently for four years with our county and other agency partners to bring this project to life,” said Col. James Booth, USACE Jacksonville Commander. “And I can assure our collaborators, and the people of Miami, that the Corps will be on site executing this project to protect the coastline and all the residents of the south Florida for decades to come.”

Miami-Dade County Florida Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study

Purpose & Overview


Existing problems in the study area include:

  • Storm damages due to erosion, inundation and waves threaten structures and infrastructure
  • Loss of natural habitat due to beach erosion
  • Loss of recreational opportunities due to beach erosion
  • Loss of national and regional income associated with tourism due to beach erosion

Opportunities are positive conditions in the study area that may result from implementation of a federal project such as:

  • Reduce economic loss due to coastal storm damages
  • Maintain coastal habitat, the character of coastal beach communities, and other cultural resources
  • Maintain existing recreation opportunities (beach and nearshore)
  • Support the local and national tourism industry through the maintenance of stable beaches and healthy coastal ecosystems
  • Implement a regional approach to sediment management by utilizing material from nearby accretional areas as a sand source
  • Increase community understanding of coastal resilience
  • Maintain current life safety or reduce risk to life safety

Compiled Q&A from draft report public comments

  1. What is the purpose of the proposed project?

The purpose of the study is to determine the federal interest in a plan to reduce damages from coastal flooding due to storm surges, tides, and waves, with sea level rise, in the most vulnerable interior back bay areas of the San Juan Metro Area.

  1. Who is conducting the study and why?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has conducted the study with the non-federal sponsor the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER). In response to these problems, USACE is pursuing this study to determine a recommended plan to reduce coastal flooding damages, under Section 204 of the Flood Control Act of 1970, Public Law 91-611, with funds provided under the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 Public Law 115-123.

  1. What is the proposed project?

The study authority for this project is Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970, Public Law 91-611 (33 U.S.C. 549a), which authorizes the Secretary of the Army , acting through the Chief of Engineers, to review the operation of projects for which construction has been completed and which were constructed in the interest of navigation, flood control, water supply, and related purposes, when found advisable due to significantly changed physical or economic conditions, and to recommend to Congress on the advisability of modifying the structures or their operation, and for improving the quality of the environment in the overall public interest. This report is an interim response to the study authority. The existing Federal Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection (BEC&HP) Project for Dade County, Florida, was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1968. 

This study was 100 percent federally funded by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018), Public Law 115-123.


Plan formulation is the process of developing alternative plans that meet the project-specific objectives while avoiding constraints.  Plan formulation was conducted with a focus on achieving the federal objective of water and related land resources project planning, which is to contribute to National Economic Development (NED) consistent with protecting the nation's environment, pursuant to national environmental statutes, applicable executive orders, and other federal planning requirements.  Plan formulation also considers all effects, beneficial or adverse, to each of the four evaluation accounts identified in the 1983 Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resource Implementation Studies (Principles and Guidelines) which are National Economic Development, Environmental Quality, Regional Economic Development, and Other Social Effects.

It has been determined that there is continued federal interest in a project along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline of Miami-Dade County, Florida, based on the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) identified using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Planning Process.

The Main Segment TSP includes beach nourishment (including dune features) along 5.7 miles of shoreline along with a series of groins between R-28 and R-31.5. Sand sources to be used for beach nourishment in the Main Segment include the BHI Complex, South Beach, and offshore borrow areas. The Key Biscayne TSP includes a reinforced dune with a steel sheet pile wall along 1.2 miles shoreline. Beach nourishment (including dune features) will use sand from upland mines to keep the wall buried, and sheet pile tieback walls will be used at the north and south ends of the project. Implementation of the plan for Key Biscayne is contingent upon local efforts to address back bay flood risks.

The TSP contributes to the creation of beach and dune habitat. It is integrated with the community to allow continued public access to existing recreational opportunities that traditionally occur along the coastline. The TSP was formulated to avoid and minimize impacts to every extent possible; therefore, no mitigation is recommended as part of the project.


Structures and infrastructure along the Miami-Dade County, Florida, shoreline are vulnerable to damage from erosion, flooding and waves caused by coastal storms.  This study investigates alternatives for a plan that addresses these vulnerabilities, as well as provides incidental opportunities for maintaining recreation and habitat along the shoreline of Miami-Dade County, Florida. This study only evaluates the Atlantic Ocean shoreline. It does not evaluate the coastal storm risks of the interior back bay shorelines of the barrier islands or the Miami-Dade County mainland. The non-federal sponsor of the study is Miami-Dade County, Florida.

This single purpose Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) study focuses on the damaging forces of erosion, flooding, and wave attack during coastal storms that threaten structures and infrastructure fronting the Atlantic Ocean in Miami-Dade County, Florida. This area is highly vulnerable to sea level change (SLC) which is expected to exacerbate these damaging forces into the future.

The study team has produced a draft report, which is currently available for public review and comment on this website from Nov. 12, 2020 until Dec. 12, 2020.  The report has considered an array of alternatives and their effects, under NEPA and recommends an alternative as the tentatively selected plan (TSP). 


The risk to areas along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline, the performance of existing measures to reduce risk, and the need for future measures over the next 50 years were all considerations for scoping the study. The Atlantic Ocean fronting shorelines between Baker’s Haulover Inlet and Government Cut, along with the Village of Key Biscayne, were identified as having the most immediate need for a study to assess coastal storm risks and federal participation in a CSRM project. 

The focused study area includes 9.4 miles of shoreline between Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Range or Reference (R) Monuments R-27 to R-74 (Baker’s Haulover Inlet to Government Cut, known as the “Main Segment”) and 1.2 miles between R-101 to R-108 (Village of Key Biscayne, known as the “Key Biscayne Segment”).  R-monuments refer to FDEP survey monuments used for geographic reference.

Miami-Dade Coastal Storm Risk Management Study Video

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received disaster funds provided in Public Law 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The act provides nearly $17.4 billion to the Corps for disaster recovery. Jacksonville District received $3.348 billion for long-term recovery investments in its area of responsibility, which includes Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This funding will go towards 13 studies and 22 projects that will reduce risk to communities damaged by storm events. The total Federal funding allocation for Jacksonville District recovery efforts so far exceeds $4 billion.