Segment II Shore Protection Project Wrap-up
South Florida has become internationally known for its remarkable beaches. Broward County alone has 24 miles of sandy beaches along the east coast and making sure our beaches are protected and healthy is a top priority. Not only do Broward beaches attract 9.3 million visitors a year, but our beaches also contribute $548 million annually to Broward County’s economy while also creating 17,700 full-time equivalent jobs in the county and adding $1.4 billion to Broward County’s property values. Broward’s beaches are valuable to residents living in Broward County, locals from South Florida’s tri-county region, as well as tourists from around the world. While beaches support tourism and the local economy, they also help protect property and provide critical habitat for sea turtles, shore birds and other marine wildlife. For these and many other very important reasons the Segment II Beach Re-nourishment and Shore
Protection Project is part of the long-term management of the county’s shoreline. With a strong partnership with state and federal agencies, shore protection projects, dune enhancements and regional sediment management have been made possible.
The purpose of the Segment II Beach Re-nourishment Project is to reconstruct areas of eroded beaches and increase storm protection to the upland development along portions of the shoreline. The project began on January 4th, 2016 in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale Beaches. To date the Segment II Shore Protection Project is approximately 80% complete, with work suspending for the peak of sea turtle nesting season (April 30th through November 1st). Approximately 800,000 tons has been delivered to date, which is approximately 37,890 truckloads. So far, nearly 4 miles of beach have been re-nourished and over a mile and a half of protective dune habitat has been restored. Work has been completed up to the northern limits of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and will resume after November 1st, 2016, following the end of sea turtle nesting season. At that time, sand delivery operations will recommence through the access points at NE 18th Street and Sunrise Boulevard on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Just under one mile of beach remains for project completion, extending from Hugh Taylor Birch State Park to Terramar Street.
The total cost for the project is $55.6 million, which includes project design, construction, and monitoring. The Project Partnership Agreement with the Federal Government allows for a 55% reimbursable cost-share on the project, which will be reimbursed to Broward County over time. The State of Florida’s participation is just over 20% of the total cost, and thanks to our partnership and working together with our State Representative George Moraitis, the State of Florida has already allocated over $11 million for this project. It is great to have such a strong personal working relationship with our representative in Tallahassee. (Thank you George!) The remaining costs are split 67% Broward County and 33% with the municipalities (Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale). The Federal permit has an expiration in 2020 and the State permit is valid through 2029. It has been a personal goal of mine to keep these permits open as long as possible so that, in the event of a storm or extreme erosion event, we can do an emergency re-nourishment without having to go through the permit process again, which took an inordinate amount of time – nearly twenty years.
Dune restoration and enhancement are also a critical part of the process that helps to protect the shore by acting as naturally protective buffers. A healthy beach and dune system provides vital nature-based coastal defenses against the impacts of storms and coastal flooding. The Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division of Broward County provides grant funding on a reimbursable cost-share basis to support new dune restoration and enhancement projects. Many of these dune project grants have been done in the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea through corporate partners like FPL, JM Family and Wells Fargo. Due to the pressures on our shoreline and the importance of building resilience to the impacts from storms and sea level rise, coastal dune restoration and preservation is a prominent component in our shorelines protection.
Our Broward County team of Eastman Aggregates and their consultants Olsen Coastal Engineering and The Chappell Group ensured that this process was completed quickly and the continued efforts of all those involved in the project is greatly appreciated. With the Segment II project coming to completion at the end of the year the beaches of Broward County look better than ever and continue to support tourism, our local economy, protect residential and hotel property, while also enhancing critical habitat and providing for a great quality of life for Broward County residents.
I never lose sight of what is important and that is you the residents of our beautiful district. If there is anything that we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 954.357.7004. You can also stay updated by viewing our website at broward.org/district4.