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St. Lucie County – South County Beach & Dune Restoration

Client: St. Lucie County Mosquito Control & Coastal Management

Areas of Expertise: Coastal Planning, Engineering & Restoration

This project entailed the planning, design, permitting, and construction of an initial beach-dune restoration project including the placement of 635,164 cubic yards of sand with native dune vegetation over about 3.4 miles of shoreline. The resulting restoration won the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s (ASBPA) 2015 Best Restored Beach Award.

In September 2004, St. Lucie County was impacted by both Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne within a period of 21 days; in response to the storms, the County initiated this non-federal project.

Coastal Tech-GEC:

  • assessed beach and dune conditions in the project area;
  • held numerous public meetings to educate and obtain input from stakeholders;
  • conducted a simplified “NED” analysis of alternatives to formulate the recommended plan – consistent with USACE planning regulations;
  • provided environmental services via CSA to map and characterize existing hardbottom within and surrounding the project area;
  • identified hardbottom impacts and negotiated/designed mitigation for unavoidable impacts to hardbottom – including communication with the FDEP Deputy Secretary and multiple meetings with the FDEP Division Director, USACE staff, and NMFS staff;
  • formulated the design and obtained permits so the project could be constructed using either upland sand sources or an offshore borrow area;
  • assisted the County with bids for the beach fill -the low bid for the beach fill was within 2% of Coastal Tech-GEC’s estimates;
  • assisted the County to formulate a benefits-based Special Assessment District to generate the local share of project costs; and
  • assisted the County with formulation of a regional project with Martin County – leading to state funding for the project as appropriated by the 2012 Legislature.

During the 2013 beach-fill construction, Coastal Tech-GEC provided an on-site resident-engineer to monitor construction, communicate with stakeholders, and check for compliance with the Contract Documents.  During the 2015 mitigation reef construction, Coastal Tech-GEC similarly performed spot-checks of construction. Since 2013, Coastal Tech-GEC and CSA have provided permit-required: (a) annual monitoring of the Project performance – including hardbottom impacts and the associated mitigation reef, with (b) reporting to FDEP and the USACE.

Year Completed:  2013 (initial construction)

Total Fees:  $2,894,174

Total Cost:  Estimated:   $9.7M          

                      Actual: $12.0M

Project Completion Date:      Actual:  May 7, 2013      

                                                     Proposed:  April 30, 2013

(Substantial completion of construction – extended by weather delays)