Beach projects decision months away
Residents must wait several more months before the federal government tells them what beach projects are allowed on the far south end of town.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers likely won’t issue its “record of decision” regarding Reach 8 coastal studies until late this year, Coastal Coordinator Rob Weber told the Town Council last week.
“It probably will be many months from now,” he said of the timeline. “They need to do more coordination with the advisory agencies. There’s still a lot of work related to mitigation and impacts.”
It’s a delay that likely means no sand project would be ready until 2018-19.
The Corps published the final draft of a long-awaited study last summer that critiques proposals from the town and Palm Beach County to place sand on the shore and in the water south of the Lake Worth Pier. The environmental impact statement evaluates how the proposed projects will affect marine life and their habitat and other ocean resources.
The Corps’ record of decision is a statement listing its final findings. The town had expected to receive that decision last fall.
Once the decision is issued, staff will review it and present it to the Shore Protection Board for a recommendation to the council. Then the council would approve it and staff would begin the permitting process with state and federal agencies, which could take months. Since projects must be performed in late fall/early winter before sea turtle nesting season, it’s unlikely a project would be ready until 2018-19.
Reach 8 extends from Lake Worth Municipal Beach to the southern town limit at the La Bonne Vie condominium. Since environmentalists legally blocked a town plan to nourish Reach 8 in 2009, the town has periodically provided shore protection by restoring the dunes. .—