By Maylee De Jesus, Town Clerk/Assistant to the Town Manager
There are 663 miles of beaches around the State of Florida, and 5/8 of a mile belongs to the Town of South Palm Beach. Property values are affected by the condition of the beach, which affects the monies due to municipalities from property taxes that are paid by owners within the community. The Town of South Palm Beach is on an island, surrounded by the Intercoastal on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the East. Preserving the beach and the property values of the beachfront properties depends on our willingness to participate in this project.
Currently, the Town of South Palm Beach, along with the public beach in the Town of Lantana, and the private beach that belongs to the “EAU of the Palm Beaches” in Manalapan, are involved in a Shoreline Stabilization Project that is being directed by Palm Beach County. Due to the close proximity of the Town of Palm Beach’s proposed South Reach 8 project the two projects are being evaluated under one Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The USACE requires completion of an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Since 2007, Palm Beach County (PBC) has completed several engineering studies that have evaluated various long-term erosion control alternatives (no action, beach nourishment, groins & breakwaters) for the Central PBC project area. In January 2013, the County completed a final engineering analysis to help identify the most appropriate shore protection plan for the project area. A series of seven low-profile, shore-perpendicular groins plus a moderate beach fill (~75,000 CY) was the selected plan. Groins were chosen because the structures disrupt a portion of the sand flowing south along the beach and deposit it on the up drift side of the structure. These structures last 50 years because they are made out of concrete panels.
The cost of this project is approximately $10 million to construct; $700,000 for the groin structures, $3.45 million for sand replacement, and $5.8 million for mitigation of hard bottom. Funding for these types of projects are obtained through County, State, Federal and Local Government. The Town of South Palm Beach will greatly benefit from this project because we will have approximately 75 more feet of sand in front of our properties, which will drive up the values of the homes and condominiums. The Town of South Palm Beach, along with the other coastal communities in this area are looking forward to this venture.