Posted on April 10, 2023
An historic beach nourishment project, being managed by an agreement with neighboring cities Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, has begun. A dredge began mining the Boca Inlet Shoal last Friday and is expected to have sand on Boca’s south beach by the end of this week.
Then a pipeline will deliver sand to beaches in Deerfield and Hillsboro, a process that should be complete in 10 to 12 days, bringing vital restoration to this town’s north beach. The dredge will operate 24/7. In the last 10 years, the town has placed 485,800 cubic yards of sand on the beach, most of which vanished because of weather events.
Coastal consultant Tim Blankenship called the cooperative project “very exciting.”
Blankenship was at Tuesday’s commission meeting with an update of a sand monitoring report required by FEMA. The report showed the history of sand revetments here beginning in 1972. Since then, the beach has been restored six times, the last time in 2020 to repair damage caused by Hurricane Dorian.
The current project must be completed before the end of the month, a deadline that seems certain, although dredging was delayed a week or so because of winds and rough seas.
Blankenship’s report set out options that could mitigate further beach erosion, a vegetation dune system and terminal groins placed offshore to break up wave action. Important to nourishing the beaches will be back passing sand from the Hillsboro Inlet, something that to date has not been done.
Blankenship said “an inlet-to-inlet strategy, a large-scale sand management plan for both inlets” is needed for the future.
Town Manager Mac Serda said the study being completed by Blankenship encouraged Boca to update its plan. “It’s to our advantage if Boca dredges more frequently,” he said.
Sand taken from the Boca Shoal to maintain passage at the Boca Inlet goes into the littoral drift, eventually nourishing beaches to the south.
In related matters, Moe Tarifi, the town’s representative on the Hillsboro Improvement District Board, retired after 10 years of service. Taking his place will be Tom Campbell, formerly head of Coastal Planning & Engineering. A scuba diver and resident of Ocean Grande, he has developed beach management plans and in the words of Serda is, “an admirable candidate.” His initial term is for two years.
Commissioners also volunteered for roles in county organizations. Vice Mayor Barbara Baldasarre will continue as the town’s representative on the League of Cities, with Jane Reiser and Vinnie Andreano the alternates.
Commissioner David Ravenesi will be the commissions liaison with Waste Management, the town’s garbage hauler and will also participate on a county solid waste committee that aims to build a facility to handle the cities’ waste streams.
The town’s annual fee for participating is estimated to be $2,000 to $2,500, Ravenesi said.