USACE announces Duval County shore protection project completion

Beach fill construction at the south end of Jacksonville Beach, Florida. USACE
Beach fill construction at the south end of Jacksonville Beach, Florida. USACE

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has completed the Duval County Shore Protection, Florida, that saw the restauration of critically eroded beaches and dunes to their original engineered design.

The project placed roughly 850,000 cubic yards of sand on about 8 miles of eroded beaches, including Jacksonville, Neptune and Atlantic beaches and the southern mile of Hanna Park.

This renourishment project included the full restoration of the engineer design and was fully federally funded via the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act (Public Law 84-99) and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123).  Between these two authorities, the total Federal funding allocation for the Corps’ Jacksonville District for hurricane recovery efforts so far exceeds USD4 billion.  Jacksonville District received a USD3.348 billion allocation for long-term recovery investments in its area of responsibility, which includes Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This funding will go towards 14 studies and 19 projects that will help reduce flood risk to communities damaged by storm events.

The City of Jacksonville fully funded an additional USD1.7 million to renourish portions of dunes from St. Johns County to Atlantic Beach and up to Hanna Park as part of the restoration project. Dune work included repairs to existing dunes, new construction of dunes, and vegetation repairs and planting.

The Duval County project was initially constructed in 1978-80 and since then, six principal renourishments occurred (1985-87, 1991, 1995, 2005, 2011 and 2016-17) in addition to periodic placement of maintenance-dredged sand.  Beach renourishment normally occurs about every five to six years to maintain beaches as part of the project.  Most renourishments are cost-shared in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Duval County; and are funded 38.4 percent locally and 61.6 percent federally.  Due to Hurricane Irma, the project was eligible for 100% federal funding.