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Two million cubic yards of sand getting pumped onto Vilano Beach

Posted on August 23, 2023

One of the most critically eroded coastlines on the First Coast is getting some relief.

A beach renourishment project is underway for a three-mile stretch of Vilano Beach.

A dredge is offshore with a massive tube running up to the shore and filling the berm back in.

Once the sand gets ashore, heavy machines are pushing it into place.

A similar project wrapped up two years ago, but most of that sand was stripped away by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole and a few nor’easters.

The Army Corps of Engineers is packing in more this time, hoping it lasts at least five years before they have to do it again.

An Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson says it’s not a waste to do this because they’d rather have the sand washed away than homes or roads.

“The beach, the berm, takes the brunt of the storm and protects the infrastructure of the coastline,” said Army Corps of Engineers Spokesperson David Ruderman. “That includes A1A, which is the only emergency evacuation route.”

Ruderman says the goal is to protect homes and roads, but say it also protects more than just the human stuff.

“It creates or reinforces shoreline environment for sea turtles, shore birds, marine life,” said Ruderman.

Speaking of sea turtles, Ruderman says the reason this is just getting underway now is because state wildlife agents had to come in and relocate all of the sea turtle nests in first.

Work is starting on the north end of Vilano Beach and working about three miles down for the next six months or so before they finish in the spring.


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