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South beach area first renourishment look

Boca’s .9-mile stretch of beach south of the Boca Inlet to the Deerfield Beach border will be the first of three areas to determine how much beach re-nourishment is needed.

City council just authorized an agreement with Applied Technology & Management Inc. for professional coastal engineering consulting services for the design, permitting, construction management and monitoring of beach re-nourishment sites.

“That allowed the city to start the process of conducting surveys of that stretch of beach to determine the design criteria, including the volume of sand needed for the upcoming beach re-nourishment project,” said Jennifer Bistyga, the city’s coastal program manager.

“The reason for the change is that we have been monitoring this beach yearly and based off the past surveys, including the 2020 survey, a nourishment is warranted in this area.  This survey for 2021 will allow us the ability to determine the exact volume needed on the beach,” she said, adding surveying that stretch will start in May or June.

The city divides the beaches into north, south and central for the purpose of re-nourishment plans. There were no hurricane hits during last season from June to November, so that bodes well for replacement, Bistyga added.

Sand can only be replaced outside of sea turtle nesting season that ends in October, she said. So, if it turns out more sand is warranted in the south area, that project wouldn’t start until at least Nov. 1.

Then the area would be roped off for safety, but as always, people can watch. A large dredge will sit offshore, but the inlet would not be blocked to marine traffic, Bistyga said.

The cost is always shared by the city, Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As part of their agreement with the city, The Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District kicks in 50% of the city’s share.

By Marci Shatzman

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