Beach RenourishmentFlorida is the only continental state surrounded by coastal seas and oceans; here, you are never more than 75 miles from saltwater.
In Martin County, our waters define our quality of life - particularly our beautiful, uncrowded beachfront, which attracts visitors from across the country and around the world. We are fortunate to have nearly 50% of this shoreline as public land, including sixteen beach parks. But our beach is more than a playground: It is also an environmental treasure and a tremendous economic asset for tourism-related business along the Treasure Coast.
While nearly all beaches are naturally prone to gradual erosion, adverse weather conditions and severe storms - such as hurricanes - can cause significant and sudden changes in the shoreline. Ongoing maintenance is required to protect our beachfront's accessibility, natural beauty, economic viability and ecological vitality.
The Coastal Engineering Department oversees the implementation of federal beach renourishment and sand bypassing projects throughout Martin County on an ongoing basis. We work to maintain the natural coastline through the dredging, transfer and disposal of sand from inlets and offshore sites into eroded areas. We aslo build and revegetate dunes to resist future erosion, and to maintain the dunes' ecological value.
We are careful to implement these renourishment projects in a manner that improves the shoreline while minimizing environmental impacts to native plants and animals, including endangered and threatened species of sea turtles.
The St. Lucie Inlet project is a key example of how improvements to an important estuarine system are also helping to restore beachfront in the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge.
Be a Beach Advocate
For over 60 years, the federal government has partnered with local and state governments to fund ongoing beach restoration projects, including periodic beach renourishment. However, budgetary constraints can jeopardize the continuation of this federal support, which is critical to the sustained environmental and economic health of our coastal resources and communities.
You can help! To voice your support for continued funding of beach renourishment projects, contact your senator and state representatives today. Here is a list of your local representatives.