It's official: Flagler County has a federal beach renourishment project

July 24, 2019 – It’s official: Flagler County has a federal beach renourishment project as of Tuesday when it finalized its project partnership agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers during a ceremonial signing of the binding documents.

Commission Chair Donald O’Brien, Army Corps Jacksonville District Commander Colonel Andrew Kelly, and County Attorney Al Hadeed signed the documents in front of an audience that included: both the commissions of Flagler County and Flagler Beach; representatives from U.S. Senator Rick Scott’s office; representatives from Representative Paul Renner’s Office; Alan Hyman, Director of Transportation Operations for the Florida Department of Transportation; and Heather Webber and Chrissy Sellers, both with Florida Department of Environmental Protection Northeast District.

Flagler County has been working for more than a decade with the Army Corps of Engineers to define and establish a project, which has been dubbed the Flagler County Coastal Storm Risk Management Project.

“It is an honor to host this ceremonial signing of Flagler County’s agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers for this beach renourishment project,” said Commission Chair Donald O’Brien. “…It's so important for us to have this project, so that we protect our shoreline and make sure that we protect all that property behind A1A, and our businesses, as well.”

Kelly provided the project scope, which is less than 3 miles in Flagler Beach – from the north side of 6th Street to the south side of 28th Street. About 550,000 cubic yards of sand will be placed for the initial construction.

The project is expected to reduce damages by 95% over the 50-year period of federal participation and produce just under $1.2 million in average annual benefits. It will also provide roughly three acres of habitat for threatened and endangered species – notably sea turtles and piping plovers – as well as other wildlife.

The first phase will cost $17.5 million.

The Department of Environmental Protection has committed to covering half of the $6.12 million local match – about $3 million. The Florida Department of Transportation is also willing to contribute $2.2 million to the local match.

“We have seen the value of these shore protection projects over and over,” Kelly said in an Army Corps news release. “You only have to look a few miles to the North, where Duval County beaches lost over 1.3 million cubic yards of sand in less than 12 months to hurricanes Matthew and Irma. Because of a similar agreement signed decades ago, we were able to repair the beaches so quickly and professionally that Duval County was named one of the four best restored beaches in the nation for 2019.”