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Pensacola Beach Renourishment Hits Half-way Mark

Posted on August 1, 2016

By Melissa Nelson Gabriel, Pensacola NewsJournal

A massive project to pump sand onto an eight-mile swath of Pensacola Beach has reached the half-mark.

The $16 million project should be finished by the end of August, weather permitting, said Paolo Ghio, director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority.

“When you go out there and look at what hasn’t been done and then you walk 100 yards to where it has been done, it is quite amazing to see how much sand we have lost,” Ghio said Wednesday during a project update for the Island Authority.

Crews are pumping 50,000 cubic yards of sand onto eroded sections of the barrier island every day during the 24-hour, nonstop operation, he said.

Ghio said work within the core area of Pensacola Beach should begin within the week.

The work didn’t stop beach goers from enjoying a morning in the sun Thursday. South Florida tourist Patty Skipper, walked around the dredging pipes in search of shells.

“I’m finding some absolutely beautiful ones,” she said, displaying a handful of colorful shells.

The dredging pumps up shells from the deeper Gulf that normally are not found on the beach.

Missouri tourist Amanda Haggerman relaxed near the dredging equipment while family members swam nearby.

“They are finding a lot of cool shells,” Haggerman said, pointing to the family members scouring the shallow water for shells.

According to the latest project update posted online by Escambia County, 1 million cubic yards of sand have been pumped onto the beach since work began in June.

The county said 31 sea turtle nests have been relocated away from the dredging work as well as 62 loggerhead sea turtles, three Kemps Ridley turtles and one Leatherback turtle have been moved from the path of the work.

Source: Pensacola News Journal

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