Is Palm Beach Drowning $17 Million Dollars?
The Sunshine State has more beaches than any other state in the Continental United States. Vacationers and locals seek the beautiful waterfronts of Florida as their destination to relax. Along with aggressive tropical storms, hurricanes, such as Sandy and Isaac, frequently affect the coastal area. These natural disasters have caused our shorelines to suffer greatly from serious erosion.
Palm Beach County has a 47 mile coastline, including 27 miles of beach from North to South end. Currently, residents are concerned with the critical erosion threat they are faced with especially in the Town of Palm Beach.
Through a coalition of community residents entitled Save our Shoreline (SOS), along with a partnership of the Town of Palm Beach and State of Florida, a program began to replenish the sand to the beaches. Although it has brought unwanted construction sites and various challenges, the residents of the Town of Palm Beach were prepared for the setbacks and costs.
Recently, sand has been added to various stretches of the Midtown Beach. Each sand addition comes with regulations of grain compliance that must fit regulatory permit requirements. The standard for grain size is regulated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, who are knowledgeable in what types of grains suit the various beaches of the state.
Earlier in April, grain sizes were approved from a dredging project off the coast. This past week, several reaches were analyzed for grain size testing, but several ultra-fine grains caused a hiccup in the re-nourishment project.
One of the Coastal Engineers on the Palm Beach Island Beach Project, Karyn Erickson, has kept a close watch on the sand grains coming ashore lately. Several pieces of data on the grains yielded incompatible sizes with those of native sand. With the Midtown Project deadlines edging closer, this could cause a more extensive delay in progress. Erickson has requested locations for where the sand is being sourced, and has asked more samples from the various reaches along the beach. Ultimately, Erickson, along with members of the SOS, want to ensure the taxpayers that they are getting the proper grains of sand they paid $17.6 million for.
Could this mean an extension to the bulldozers on the beach? Perhaps more funds are needed in order to dredge the compatible sand grain size. Most residents continue to believe that the meticulous details will have lasting effects. However, there are some individuals who think that the promising future should be taken with a grain of ‘sand’.
In the end, the people of Palm Beach will have to actually see the “beach” restored to Palm Beach in order to believe it or determine if of Palm Beach drowning $17 million dollars is worth it.