Our 24 miles of beautiful sandy beaches along the Broward County coastline help to attract more than 14.3 million visitors a year who spend $12.6 billion annually in Broward County and contribute $548 million annually to our local economy. Broward’s beaches create 17,700 full-time equivalent jobs locally, in addition to the $1.4 billion in property values. Our beaches impact local government tax revenues by $29 million annually and protect over $4 billion in shorefront property, structures, and infrastructure from storm wave damage. Not only do beaches support tourism and the local economy, they also help protect upland property while providing critical habitat to sea turtles, shore birds, and other marine wildlife. The long-term management of Broward County’s shoreline involves shore protection projects, dune enhancements and regional sediment management, with extensive partnership with State and Federal agencies.
Beach nourishment is a means of shore protection designed to retain and rebuild natural systems, such as beaches, while reducing or preventing the consequences of beach erosion. Beach nourishment is the only shore protection method that adds sand to the coastal system and is the preferred method for shore protection today. During construction of a beach nourishment project, beach-quality sand from either an offshore borrow area or upland sand mine is placed along the coastline to restore an eroding beach. Ultimately, the beach nourishment project widens a beach and advances the shoreline seaward. Dunes may also be constructed or restored in order to protect the shore by acting as naturally protective buffers. Like any other major infrastructure, restored beaches must be maintained to stay healthy. Think of Broward County’s beaches like a road, requiring periodic resurfacing with sand. To ensure that the nourished beach continues to provide protection from the effects of hurricanes and coastal storms, the project must be supplemented with additional quantities of sand, called beach maintenance or renourishment, as needed. Restored beaches provide storm protection for properties along the barrier island, recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, and habitat for sea turtles, shorebirds, and other marine life. Failure to rebuild eroded beaches would eventually result in the loss of many of our economically and environmentally valuable assets. Broward County has successfully managed its beaches for over 50 years, improving its beach nourishment program with each restoration event. Since 1970, large and moderate scale beach nourishment projects have commonly been used as a means of restoring and maintaining eroded areas of Broward County shoreline. The next planned renourishment event is along Pompano Beach, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Fort Lauderdale Beaches. This Segment II renourishment project will reconstruct areas of eroded beach and increase storm protection to the upland development along portions of the shoreline.
As a Broward County Commissioner, I am honored to represent residents from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale. A major focus of mine since being elected to the Broward County Commission in 2010 has been my work with local, state and federal partners to replenish the sand on our beaches. Our beaches have been severely eroded over the years by hurricanes and tropical storms and in some areas they are close to disappearing. I have worked diligently with local, state and federal partners to keep this project on track as it faced major hurdles in government over nearly twenty years. The project is highly supported and applauded by local governments and environmental stakeholders. After many years of dedicated work by our staff and many advocates, not to mention many trips to Tallahassee and Washington, DC, Broward County has received the final permits to construct the project from both the State and Federal resource agencies and has currently received the long-awaited agreement from the Army Corps of Engineers. Currently, Broward County received a low, responsive and responsible bid from a qualified contractor and construction is anticipated to commence shortly. My commission office will host a public information meeting in the coming weeks to address concerns and questions from residents. Stay updated by subscribing at http://www.broward.org/Commission/District4.