Town of Palm Beach News

Sand Sources Were the Talk of the Shore Protection Board

Sand sources were the talk of the Shore Protection Board last week, and Town officials stated that there is an abundance of offshore sand to be used for beach fills in the future. The counties of Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin will be covered, according to a 2012 study, for the next 50 years at least.

On October 27th, Town of Palm Beach Shore Protection Board members raised the question of whether there would be enough sand to meet the town’s coastal protection needs in the future. Officials have responded by going over the long-range forecast.

According to the Southeast Florida Sediment Assessment and Needs Determination (SAND) study, performed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, over the next 50 years more than 174 million cubic yards of sand will be required for beach nourishment from St. Lucie to Miami-Dade counties.

Palm Beach County will need 46 million cubic yards, which includes 13 million cubic yards of sand for Palm Beach’s Midtown and Phipps Ocean Park nourishment until 2062.

The sand must meet certain federal and state standards before it can be used for beach nourishment. Quality, color and grain-size all are important compatibility parameters. Board member Kane Baker stated it’s lucky that there is large-grain sand in this part of the world.

Sand Sources Were the Talk of the Shore Protection Board

Paul Brazil, the Public Works Director, said on Monday that there are supplies of suitable sand to be found, but not necessarily in convenient locations. He estimates there will be enough sand for the next 20 years at least, although the offshore sand resources of Miami-Dade County are exhausted.

Town Manager Tom Bradford wrote a memo in response to board member Lee Goldstein’s query, stating that nearshore sand cannot be harvested by the town, as regulatory agencies won’t allow it. Nearshore sand is the sand that has collected in sand bars a few hundred feet from the shore, and manipulating it would interrupt the natural coastal process. Bradford wrote that most of this sand moves back to the adjacent beach in the springtime when the weather is calmer.

The Breakers was supposed to deliver a presentation of its plans to battle beach erosion in front of the resort at the meeting, but it was postponed. The Beakers, a Town of Palm Beach Landmark did not state the reason for this deferral and did not respond to an inquiry about when it will present the plan to the shore board.

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Jonathan enjoys covering local events and occurrences. His writings encompass a wide range of topics from news to entertainment, oftentimes mixing business with pleasure.

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