Phipps Ocean Park wins beach restoration award
Palm Beach has one of the best restored beaches in the country, according to a national coastal preservation association.
The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association announced last week that Phipps Ocean Park is one of five locations on its annual list of the nation’s best restored beaches.
Last winter and spring, the town spent $16.5 million to have Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. place just over 1 million cubic yards of sand on a 2-mile stretch of South End beaches and dunes from Phipps to Palm Beach County’s Kreusler Park. As part of the project, workers also added about 10,000 cubic yards of sand to Reach 8 beaches south of Bellaria Condominium and about 15,000 cubic yards to the Reach 3 shoreline north of The Breakers.
Mayor Gail Coniglio called the award a “great honor” and held a news conference Friday to celebrate the recognition. Friday’s event included a trip to the beach.
“From our citizens, to the stakeholders, including the regulatory agencies, consultants, contractors and our staff, truly this award can be attributed to seeing what can be accomplished when we all work well together,” Coniglio said in a statement.
The Fort Myers-based association chooses beaches for the award based on the economic and ecological benefits they bring to the community; the short- and long-term success of the project; and the challenges each community overcame during the project.
“This year’s winners spotlight a diverse selection of beaches and challenges, ranging from protecting coastal marshes in a wildlife refuge to protecting upland properties in one of America’s most exclusive locales,” read the announcement, referring to Palm Beach. “What they all have in common, however, is working creatively to address complex coastal issues in way that is sustainable to the ravages of nature, compatible with the surrounding environment and achievable in the face of both political and natural obstacles.”
The association also recognizes restored beaches for their value to the economy.
America’s beaches receive more than 2 billion visits a year and contribute about $225 billion annually to the economy, according to the association. Restored beaches also help with storm protection and habitat restoration.
Other winners were: Dauphin Island, Ala.; Popponesset Spit, Mass.; Prime Hook Beach, Del.; and Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach, Va.