Bathtub Reef Beach Renourishment Project
Bathtub Reef Beach is undergoing re-nourishment during the spring of 2017, with 86,000 cubic yards of sand to be placed on the beach, borrowed from the Sailfish Point Navigational Channel. Dredging began on Sunday March 26, and placement is currently occurring within Sailfish Point.
During the re-nourishment process, partial beach closures will be in place, although the parking lot and pavilion will remain accessible. The area for re-nourishment runs from the north end of Bathtub Reef Beach and south into Sailfish Point. Martin County has contracted with Ferreira Construction for the project, and the beach portion of project is scheduled for completion by May 2017.
Funding for this project will come from multiple sources, including, a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that was included in this year’s state legislative budget and a 50 percent cost share with the Sailfish Point Property Owners Association. A FEMA reimbursement from hurricane damages sustained in 2012 is also under review and may provide additional funding. The goal is for the project to be completed in May 2016, prior to the start of the new sea turtle nesting season. Information about beach and parking lot closings, beach access, construction and restoration updates will be provided in a timely basis here on the County website.
About Bathtub Reef Beach
Martin County’s Atlantic beaches span nearly 22 miles along our coast and include Jensen Beach, Stuart Beach, Sailfish Point, St. Lucie Inlet State Preserve, Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, and the Town of Jupiter Island.
These beaches are an integral part of the quality of life in Martin County, generate considerable revenue to the economy of Martin County, and support homes, businesses and related infrastructure (roads, utilities) for many residents and visitors.
Bathtub Reef is located just offshore at Bathtub Beach Park, 1585 SE MacArthur Blvd., Stuart, and is a popular spot for snorkelers due to the large numbers of marine creatures and fish that congregate there. Its presence is also a key factor in creating the “bathtub effect” of very shallow waters during low tide that make it such a favorite swimming location for families with young children.
Bathtub Reef is a fascinating reef system, created by tiny tube-building Sabellariid sea worms. It is not only an incredibly unique system, but also an extremely fragile one. The worms cement sand grains together, creating a vast network of tube dwellings. Colonies build on top of one another over time and create a reef system that helps break waves and reduce beach erosion. This habitat is used by more than 500 marine species including endangered sea turtles that forage on and around the reef.
For more information regarding the Bathtub Reef Beach renourishment project, please click the Request for Help or Information button below to submit an inquiry.