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Pinellas County Shore Protection Project Public Briefing and Engagement on Perpetual Access Easement Requirements
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, conducted a public informational briefing at the Indian Shores Municipal Center, in Indian Shores, Sept. 8, 2023. District Commander, Col. James Booth, and senior staff members reported on the status of the project and explained the need for USACE to be provided perpetual access easements on all properties within the project footprint to move forward with present and future renourishments of the Pinellas beaches. The briefing was followed by a question-and-answer period with all present elected officials and residents. View the Pinellas project overview slides below or view a video of the entire informational presentation and question-and-answer video at the link to your right.

Pinellas County Coastal Storm Risk Management Study and Shore Protection Project

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Infrastructure along the Pinellas County, FL shoreline is subject to damage from waves, erosion, and inundation caused by coastal storms, making them vulnerable. This study investigates alternatives for a plan that addresses these vulnerabilities, as well as provides incidental opportunities for habitat restoration and recreation for Treasure Island and Long Key along the Gulf Coast shorelines of Pinellas County, Florida.

This single purpose Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) study focuses on the wave, erosion, and inundation problems that threaten structures and infrastructure along two barrier islands, Treasure Island and Long Key, fronting the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County, Florida. The non-Federal sponsor is Pinellas County, Florida.

The study team has produced a draft report, which is currently available for public review and comment on this website from August 4, 2020 until September 4, 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 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 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.

The existing Federal Pinellas County, Florida Beach Erosion Control (BEC) project was conducted in response to resolutions adopted by the Committee on Public Works of the House of Representatives on June 19, 1963, and by the Committee on Public Works of the United States Senate on November 27, 1963, in accordance with Section 110 of the River and Harbor Act, approved October 23, 1962. This study was funded by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Public Law 115-123. 

The study authority for the existing BEC project included all of Pinellas County, Florida. Following the initial study scoping, the Gulf-fronting shorelines of Treasure Island and Long Key were identified as having the most critical need for a study to identify the need for continued future Federal participation in a coastal storm risk management project.

The focused study area includes 7.4 miles of Pinellas County shoreline between Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) range monuments (R) R-126 to R-143 (Treasure Island; 3.4 miles) and R-144 to R-166 (Long Key; 4.0 miles). R-monuments refer to FDEP survey monuments used for geographic reference.
For planning purposes, these two islands are divided into seven reaches based on erosion rates and other geomorphic features.

Existing problems in the study area include:

  • Storm damages due to erosion, inundation, and waves threaten infrastructure
  • Erosion causes loss of natural habitat
  • Shoreline erosion threatens recreational opportunities

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 and the character of coastal beach communities and other cultural resources
  • Maintain existing recreation (beach and nearshore)
  • Support the local economy and tourism industry through the maintenance of stable beaches and healthy coastal ecosystems
  • Implement a regional approach to sediment management by utilizing material from nearby navigation inlets as a sand source
  • Increase community understanding of coastal resilience 

It has been determined that there is continued Federal interest in a project along the shorelines of Treasure Island and Long Key, Pinellas County, Florida, based on the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) identified using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Planning Process.

The TSP includes periodic beach nourishment, including dune and berm features, at the north and/or south ends of Treasure Island and Long Key.

Some key details of the TSP design continue to be refined, including the estimated periodic nourishment interval, the estimated volumes required for periodic nourishment, the landward location of the beach nourishment template, and the estimated project cost. Periodic nourishment of the improved beach, which would be provided when needed, would restore the beach to desired dimensions. Sediment transport along these islands links the geomorphic response of the shorelines; therefore, periodic nourishment for any other areas where erosion might develop would also be provided when needed.

The Tentatively Selected Plan does not have a specific design level. In other words, the project is not designed to fully withstand a certain category of hurricane or a certain frequency storm event. The proposed project would greatly reduce, but not completely eliminate, future coastal storm risk and damages over the 50 year period of analysis.

Pinellas County, FL Beach Erosion Control (BEC) Project

Pinellas County Shore Protection Project totals 21.8 miles of shoreline. There are three constructed and authorized segments that are actively maintained by the federal government in cost share with Pinellas County; Sand Key at the north end
(14.2miles), Treasure Island in the middle (3.5 miles) and Long Key at the south end (4.1miles).

Treasure Island has undergone a total of 11 renourishments to date, and was the first segment constructed.

Long Key is the second oldest and has been renourished seven times over the course of its 37-year life, and finally Sand Key, originally constructed in 1993. It is the largest of the segments and is set to expire in 2043, undergoing three renourishments to date.

Pinellas Shore Protection Project presentations

Indian Shores Town Hall Sept. 8, 2023

Sept. 8, 2023, Indian Shores Town Hall 

2020 IFS/EA Draft Report

2020 IFS/EA Draft Report

Project Contact Info

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
ATTN: Ashleigh H. Fountain, Project Manager
701 San Marco Boulevard
Jacksonville, Florida 32207-8175

Corporate Communications Office
904-616-0036 / 904-232-2568

2022 Draft Report Documents

2018 Bipartisan Budget Act

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 toward 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.

Additional information can be found here