Posted on March 15, 2023
Construction of the 2023 Fort Pierce Shore Protection Project is underway, and officials said the project will not impact the sea turtle nesting season.
The county’s Sr. Coastal Engineer, Joshua Revord, said the project is being done for storm protection in advance of the next hurricane season and is in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and St. Lucie County.
Crews plan to place about 500,000 cubic yards of sand on a 1.3-mile stretch of eroded beach located just south of the Fort Pierce Inlet.
“One thing that happens that most people don’t know is the jetty and the navigation channel stop the flow of sand from north to south,” Revord said. “If you go north to the state park, the beach is very wide very lush, but you come south it has been starved so we’re trying to replace those sands that would have otherwise made their way around the inlet to satisfy the need of our other beaches to the south.”
Lynee Hersey visits Fort Pierce beach once a week. She’s looking forward to the project.
“Well, it’s actually good because of the fact that it allows additional footage of the beach because right now we don’t have much footage it’s eroded away,” Hersey said. “When they get finished it’s a whole lot more beach that everybody has to relax on and enjoy.”
There will be temporary restrictions near the immediate work areas on the beach while sand placement is underway.
“The community will have more storm protection, they’ll have a better beach, the environmental benefits we’ll have more beach sand for the active sea turtle nesting season this year,” Revord said. “It will be a form of resilience. We’re trying to put sand where it needs to be in the right fashion so that we don’t have other beach issues down the way.”
Crews will be working seven days a week including holidays to minimize the impact on sea turtle nesting season.
“I want to let everybody know we employ Florida Wildlife Commission Specialists to actively monitor sea turtle nesting during the project,” Revord said, “If in the event the nest is laid within the project areas, they excavate it and move it outside of the project area.”
The upcoming renourishment is the continuation of a federal shore protection project initially constructed in 1971 with an additional 12 periodic and emergency federal re-nourishments carried out since 1980. It is executed under an $11.6 million contract awarded Jan. 12, 2023, to Manson Construction Co.
It is 77.76% funded by the federal government and 22.24% funded by St. Lucie County.
Operations are expected to be complete by the end of May.