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Beach renourishment begins along Duval shoreline; $32mm for 10 miles

Beach renourishment efforts started Monday, April 29, 2024, along Duval County's beaches.

Posted on May 1, 2024

The Army Corps of Engineers began a four-month project Monday to restore 10 miles of beaches between the Duval-St Johns County line and Hanna Park.

Officials say the project — the first renourishment project for Duval County beaches since 2019 — will help protect homes and businesses near the ocean and will allow for a friendly environment for sea turtles.

The project costs $32 million and is fully funded by the federal government.

Renourishment started near 10th Avenue in Jacksonville Beach. The plan is to renourish the beach south to the county line then north all the way to the mouth of the St. Johns River.

Engineers say the plan is to widen the beach berm between 20 to 60 feet and to raise the beach by about 3 to 5 feet. Renourishment will take place 24 hours a day except for the Fourth of July. Engineers say crews will not spend more than a few days in one particular area.

The beaches will remain mostly open during the project. Crews will shut down about 1,500-foot sections of the beach at a time and crews will restore about 500 feet, which is about two city blocks, each day. Pedestrian bridges will be laid over the pipes lying on the beach for easier access.

Engineers have included a breakdown of where crews are scheduled to be throughout the project on their website.

At the start of renourishment, just the 16th Avenue South parking area in Jacksonville Beach is closed since crews are using it as an access point and staging area. The Army Corps of Engineers said there will be other parking closures as the project progresses, but the exact location and times have not been determined.

Locals like Camille Monroe say that despite the disruptions, she will continue to go out to the beach she’s been enjoying for over 50 years.

The beach project is “necessary and needed,” Monroe said. “We’re glad they’re doing it.”

This project also could cause disruptions for sea turtles. The nesting season typically runs from May through October. The project is expected to wrap up in late August.

Project Manager Jason Harrah said areas that are home to sea turtle nests will not be disturbed. He said Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol will be allowed to remove sea turtle eggs and place them in those areas.

“These beaches are home to tons of nesting shorebirds and sea turtles and other critters that use the beach nonstop, so it’s very important,” Harrah said. “We look at it from storm damage reduction and protecting infrastructure from hurricanes, but this beach serves such a purpose for the ecosystem as well, that it’s important that we make sure we keep that balance.”

If a sea turtle nest is discovered outside of the designated areas, then the nest will be roped off and work halted in the immediate area. So far, the Army Corps of Engineers said, no sea turtle nests have been discovered, but the beach is monitored daily.

Once the renourishment project is done, the beach will be broader and wider, which is more friendly for sea turtles trying to nest, Harrah said.


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