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St. Johns County beach renourishment delayed

Bulldozers build up part of Vilano Beach during a renourishment project in 2021.

Posted on March 25, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has delayed the start of a beach renourishment project in St. Johns County, pushing back the start of scheduled beach closures, in order to wait for the necessary equipment to arrive.

Nine miles of beaches in St. Johns County will be beefed up with additional sand as part of a $40 million beach restoration project.

The delay “will maximize the effectiveness of beach construction in sync with the expected nesting and blossoming activity of coastal fauna and flora,” according to the county.

First to close: the parking area for Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park, which St. Johns County anticipates will close in April, three to four weeks after closures were initially planned.

Once the project begins, engineering firm Weeks Marine Inc. will pump tons of sand onto the shores of Ponte Vedra Beach to shore up the area against storms and erosion. The plan is to dredge 2 million cubic yards of sand offshore of Ponte Vedra Beach and use it to restore berms and dunes from the Duval County line down to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

“This project will help to mitigate past erosion,” St. Johns County Coastal Manager Damon Douglas told Jacksonville Today, “which will protect infrastructure, property values and tourism assets while enhancing the environmental and recreational value of the coastal system.”

More than $30 million in funding for the beach restoration project comes from the state, and St. Johns County has committed $8 million.

The work will continue, one chunk of the shoreline at a time, to keep heavy equipment and beachgoers safely apart. The estimated August end of the project is estimated to not be affected by the delay. St. Johns County will post updates on the beach closures here.


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