Beach & Dune Committee - Updated April 22, 2019
April 12, 2019: Following FEMA’s Jan 2019 withdrawal of their funds (approx. $9.5MM) and no longer partially funding any beach nourishment projects, the county has been moving forward with the US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE). After more than 19-years Congress, within the 2018 WRDA Bill, authorized the 3.5 miles of south St. Lucie County Beach for inclusion in a Federal 50-year Beach Preservation Program, much like many of our neighboring counties south of us. It is overseen or administered by the USACE, and the first nourishment under that program is known as an “initial start”.
The USACE’s most current (Feb. 2019) projected total cost for a 2022 "initial start" is $22.8MM. (reconfirmed and subject to further change) In February 2019, the USACE agreed to “extensions” to allow the county to prepare for the “initial start”. These actions have a deadline of July 2021 and include the following:
1. )To potentially increase the current federal share by as much as 30% ($6.8MM), from 35% to the maximum 65%. This can be accomplished with the acquisition of five strategically located public access easements from owners of currently privately owned property. The Presidents Council is working closely to support their efforts.
2.) To fulfill any non-federally funded share, presently 65% ($14.8MM). Funding from the state is ongoing and being pursued aggressively. State funding is estimated to possibly be 26+/- % ($5.5-6.5MM) of the above total projected cost. The plan for funding the remainder “local share” (not covered by federal and state funds), continues to be a critical focus of the County and the Presidents Council. The very early and very rough guesstimate of a “more likely” number is 19%+/- ($4-5MM) of the above total projected cost.
We look forward the April 16th meeting and the update from St. Lucie County (SLC).
Beach Nourishment Project (April 16th, 2019 PC Meeting summary): Commissioner Hutchinson opened the discussion and expressed her personal interest in "saving our beaches" and the importance to the County. There is a lot of information to digest and it is constantly changing. We need to work together with the County to ensure that we maximize all of the resources (federal, state, and local) to keep our beaches nourished. Richard & Joshua provided history and the current status of the federal project. The cost figures continue to change, but one area that Presidents Council members can help is to provide additional public beach accesses. This will increase the federal cost share from 35% to 65% and reduce the "local cost share" borne by the County and Island residents. A list of potential sites for the public accesses was provided. Richard/Joshua will come to those individual Associations to discuss the options. Those potential site Associations are encouraged to contact Joshua to schedule a meeting to ensure that critical information is known, understood, all questions answered and owners have everything needed to make an informed decision. (Joshua's contact info 772-462-1269 email email@example.com) There is a very tight timeline that must be met. We need to act quickly to gain the additional funds. We will also continue the dialogue with the County in support of their efforts.
St Lucie County presentation to the Presidents Council (4/16/19) CLICK HERE
SLC handout from 4/16/2019 meeting regarding the potential public beach access points. CLICK HERE
Please contact Joshua Revord, Coastal Engineer SLC Erosion District, on 772-462-1269, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, about providing easements for additional public access.
Link to TCPALM Gil Smart editorial (May 3, 2019) regarding St Lucie County beach renourishment on Hutchinson Island.
FEMA denies St. Lucie County'S $9.5 million claim for beach repairs after Hurricane Irma CLICK HERE
Correspondence (dated Nov/Dec 2018 and Jan 2019) between Presidents Council, SLC, FEMA regarding beach nourishment project. CLICK HERE
Congressman Mast's letter to FEMA in support of our request to utilize FEMA funds toward initial nourishment costs of the Army Corp project. CLICK HERE
St. Lucie County slide presentation comparing funding on Beach nourishment. (Nov 2018) CLICK HERE
Introduction with disclaimer for the St. Lucie County slide presentation. CLICK HERE