Thread: Beach Nourishment Update
06-13-2012, 06:12 PM #1
Beach Nourishment Update
If you love beaches, then there is something exciting coming for Walton County. There could be more beach as Walton could begin getting sand in 2014. The report is beach nourishment in Walton has been highly successful.
Brad Pickel, beach scientist with Seahaven Consulting, said they have been working since Hurricane Dennis in 2005 to categorized where there is a need for beach risks to be managed. Pickel said they look at the shoreline from a small tropical storm to a 100 year storm, one that would affect all the beaches and dunes. Then there are the Katrina type storms.
According to the beach scientist, there are needs in the Blue Mountain area, Seacrest west to Inlet Beach along the Watersound boarder, Santa Rosa Beach to Old Florida Beach, Old Seagrove, Gulf Trace to Watercolor, and finally Watersound to Seacrest. He also noted the dune lakes, but said many are far enough away from the beach they are not at high risk. They also work to manage the lake outfalls. The look is at what would happen with the wind and waves as they hit during a storm.
Critically eroded areas, those places that are in danger at the next storm include Western Walton, an area already renourished. A total of seven beaches are considered by the state to be critically eroded. All could have grant funds available from the State DEP. Pickel said, due to the size, they linked several segments together.
Pickel explained the projects are not cheap and the Federal Government plays a role in them. He says the feds not only help restore the beach, but they get involved for 50 years. He calls this a help. Pickel says they have to show where the projects are needed on a federal level. This will help include other beaches. The numbers to justify this include damages to buildings. How do you mitigate this? Pickel says you can buy the structures and removed them so they will not be damaged. This has a cost that is not feasible.
What about the local cost share. Pickel says the money comes from the bed tax and state grants as well as in kind cost sharing.
Did the BP oil spill cause contamination to the underwater borrow site? Pickel showed a chart where they took 57 samples and found no oil problems. They will go back and resample before the sand is taken. The county asked for beach nourishment to be considered in the BP money NRDA process. The reply was is will not be, that nourishment is not eligible.
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