Three IRC beaches still closed over erosion concerns

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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County crews across the Treasure Coast continue to assess the impacts of Hurricane Ian on our local beaches.

Though the storm didn’t directly hit the east coast, high tides, storm surges, and winds contributed to erosion, forming scarps a couple of feet high to ten feet or more.

In Indian River County, three beaches, Tracking Station, Seagrape, and Turtle Trail Beach, were still closed Tuesday as county crews were still trying to gauge if the egress and ingress were safe.

A staff member could be seen using a drone to look at beach conditions.

Indian River County staff coordinated with FEMA over the weekend to survey the damage and consider solutions.

In St. Lucie County, a spokesman said all beaches are open and moderate erosion was observed. Crews are also still determining how many sea turtle nests were impacted by the conditions.

In Martin County, moderate erosion was also observed.

Jessica Garland, Martin County Coastal Project Engineer, said the Army Corps of Engineers walked the beach with county staff to look at the damage.

“It’s a small impact but we have talked to the Army Corps about getting some help if funding is available,” Garland said.

The good news is the beaches are still in good condition for protecting the coastline, Garland said.

“Our dunes are still intact and there is still plenty of protection. It’s just there’s not as much sand as there was, but we’re still very well protected with what we have,” Garland said.

Martin County’s last beach renourishment for a 4-mile stretch between Stuart Beach and Jensen Beach was in 2018.

That’s the area most impacted by this storm, according to Garland.

The next scheduled beach renourishment for that span is in 2026.

“We’re working on seeing what we can do and if there’s anything to be done before the next project scheduled in 2026.

Some of the beaches, however, can “self-resolve” according to Garland, which she is already seeing.

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