Beach renourishment projects underway

Beach renourishment projects underway

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - As the peak tourist season begins to wind down, work is already being done along the shoreline to make sure that our beaches will be strong for next tourist season.

While clumps of smelly seaweed kept beach visitors away from the south side of the Fort Pierce inlet Monday, another addition was being added to the sand.  Fencing is going up along the shoreline to replenish the beach that was battered from Hurricane Matthew.

"We hope for better sand this year, last year we got sand with nothing but broken shells," said Jeanette Myers, a kiteboarder from Fort Pierce.

A walkway goes over a massive pipe at the jetty.  That pipe goes back into the inlet and leads all the way back to a dredge anchored off downtown.  The Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) was doing some dredge work, and St. Lucie County discovered they could get some beach quality sand.

"We're saving them money but letting them pump it onto our beaches and we're saving taxpayer money by not having to hire trucks to do this emergency beach renourishment," said St. Lucie County Spokesman Erick Gill.

In Martin County, another beach renourishment project is well underway at Bathtub Beach, a place very familiar with locals and tourists.

Bathtub Beach just underwent a major overhaul last year, but needs some shoring up.  Most of this work is being done with federal dollars.

"We hadn't planned on being out here quite this soon and we could have gone another year or two but with the FEMA funds here, we're out here making the most of it," said Martin County Coastal Engineer Kathy Fitzpatrick.

Work will continue through the end of the month and likely into the beginning of May, ending in time for sea turtle nesting season.

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