Posted on April 19, 2023
Treasure Coast leaders say this week’s rough surf and strong winds caused beach erosion across much of the coastline, but crews are taking steps to restore some local beaches ahead of hurricane season.
St. Lucie County leaders say while they had to pause the beach renourishment project near the Fort Pierce Jetty due to the rough surf and strong winds this week, they have now resumed operations and are still on track to finish the project on schedule.
Crews have resumed working on the project, which is still on schedule to be finished by the end of May.
The county’s Senior 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 south of the Fort Pierce inlet.
There will be temporary restrictions near the immediate work areas on the beach while sand placement is underway.
Crews will be working seven days a week, including holidays, to minimize the impact on sea turtle nesting season.
The renourishment project 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. The most recent effort before this one was in 2021.
It is 77.76% funded by the federal government and 22.24% funded by St. Lucie County.
Local leaders say there was some erosion across the Treasure Coast this week, but so far, there isn’t more erosion this year than a typical year.
“With the high winds we’ve seen this week, we’ve seen some erosion along our 21 miles of coastline,” said Erick Gill, communications director for St. Lucie County. “It’s not unusual for this time of year. We hope we don’t lose too much before we get into hurricane season.”
County leaders also say while the surf has calmed down a bit, it still could be potentially dangerous. For that reason, they’re urging all beachgoers to make sure they only go in the water if they’re near a lifeguard.