SOUTH HUTCHINSON ISLAND, Fla. —
County officials in St. Lucie County are busy dealing with beach erosion before the start of Hurricane Season.
Starting in mid-April, St. Lucie County will begin placing as much as 100,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach immediately south of the Fort Pierce Inlet to combat the severe erosion that has occurred there
Spokesman Erick Gill said contractors have already begun mobilizing equipment, materials and machinery to the Fort Pierce Beach area.
Gill said they will be conducting a test run this week and once that is complete the county will begin pumping sand on the beach. The sand is being provided through an agreement with the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), which is currently working on a maintenance dredging project within the Intracoastal Waterway.
He said FIND is donating the beach-quality sand to St. Lucie County, reducing its costs to haul the material to FIND’s storage site, while saving the county from spending funds to have sand trucked or shipped from offshore.
“Normally we would either have to haul sand off shore with barges or pay for emergency trucks to put sand on the beach this time of year. But instead we are partnering with FIND to save them some money and save St. Lucie County money.”
Crews are expected to be pumping sand 24 hours a day; seven days a week to avoid negatively impacting sea turtle nesting in that area.
Gill said the operation on the beach is expected to be completed before May 31.