Posted on December 24, 2020
Crews will begin adding sand to northern sections of Fernandina Beach’s shoreline next month as part of a project dredging the entrance channel to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company will remove about 1.2 million cubic yards of material from the channel near the mouth of the St. Marys River and will pump most of that to offshore disposal sites, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in announcing the project.
But about 260,000 cubic yards of sand, picked because it’s suitable for use on beaches, will be pumped instead to shorelines on Fort Clinch State Park and an area of Fernandina Beach north of Main Beach Park.
Work crews will stage equipment at the park’s parking lot and will begin work in mid-January, City Engineer Charles George said.
George said city officials will be watching to be sure beach access isn’t interrupted, but the $15.8 million project is being administered by the Corps.
Although the city and Nassau County have both shared costs for some recent beach renourishment, Vice Mayor Len Kreger said the new work will be entirely funded by the U.S. Navy.
Project managers plan to install 114,000 cubic yards of sand around Fort Clinch, restoring areas that Kreger said are significantly eroded.
Another 145,000 cubic yards has been earmarked for use between Giselle Street and Main Beach Park. About 1,000 feet of beach at a time will be closed while sand is being pumped in and spread. In other areas, the Corps has said there will be access points crossing over the dredging pipes every 200 to 400 feet.
Work at Fort Clinch should be finished by March 15, a Corps release said, and at other beaches by April 15, the start of Florida’s sea turtle nesting season.