Coastal Engineering Division
Statement of Function
The major function of the Coastal Engineering Division is the planning, permitting and construction of projects related to coastal protection. These projects include large-scale beach nourishment at critically eroding areas of the beach, dune restoration to mitigate storm damage and protect upland properties and reviewing applications for coastal armoring. The Coastal Engineering Division also manages and executes the County's Habitat Preservation Plan (HCP) for the protection of sea turtles, which allows the County to regulate and issue permits for emergency shoreline protection measures when necessary. Coastal Engineering also manages the County's artificial reef program and serves as a resource for citizens on the issues of beach erosion and coastal zone management.
Construction for the Sector 3 Beach & Dune Restoration Project will recommence starting on November 1st 2021. Read the Press Release
Sector 3 Phase 1 took place from January to April 2021 encompassing Seaview Subdivision down to Wabasso Beach Park. Construction was halted due to sea turtle nesting season. The remaining 30,000 cubic yard needed to complete the northern end of Phase 1 will be constructed starting November 1st operating out of Treasure Shores Beach Park. Construction completion is estimated by mid December 2021.
Sector 3 Phase 2 construction will begin on November 1st, 2021 and wrap up on or before April 30th, 2022. The Phase 2 construction area ranges from Wabasso Beach Park to just south of Turtle Trail Beach Access. Phase 2 will be placing approximately 280,00 cubic yards of sand and planting around 300,000 salt tolerant dune plants.
Access to the following public beach parks may be
impacted during construction:
Treasures Shores Beach Park (Oct 29th to Dec 16th)
Sea Grape Trail Beach Access (Oct 29th to Apr 30th)
Turtle Trail Beach Access (TBD)
Sector 7 Beach and Dune Nourishment Project Update
The Sector 7 project area is made up of 82 properties, all of which require beach management easements for the placement of sand on the properties. At a regularly scheduled County Commission meeting in 2020, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) concurred with staff that a 90% or greater number of signed easements would be targeted as the goal to move forward with construction of the Sector 7 Beach and Dune Restoration Project. To date, County staff has successfully obtained only 59 of the 82 easements from property owners or 72% of the required easements. This is 15 properties short of the County's goal of attaining 90% or greater due to lack of stakeholder's support. Currently, denied easements make up 14% of properties, meaning the County is not allowed to place sand on these denied properties. Properties that have yet to respond to the County's easement requests make up the remaining 14%. County staff recently presented a Sector 7 easement status update and project options at the July 6th, 2021 BCC meeting. Due to the current lack of easements required to construct a viable Sector 7 Beach and Dune Nourishment Project, the Indian River County BCC directed staff to again delay the Sector 7 Project for one year. Anticipated bidding, additional preconstruction monitoring, and construction is now slated to take place beginning the summer of 2022. This project delay allows staff additional time to continue pursuing the required easements from homeowners who have yet to execute them, as well as denied properties. Postponing the project does put the funding offered to the County for this project at risk. County staff will seek extensions from the appropriate funding agencies.
Beach Nourishment Projects Easements
Indian River County will be constructing three (3) beach nourishment projects over the next two years within the Sector 3, Sector 5 and Sector 7 beach management areas. A portion of the sand may be placed on the beach landward of the Mean High Water Line and seaward of the dune line, which is private property. In order to proceed with the sand fill project on these sections of private property, the County will require a beach management and assessment easement from property owners or Condo Associations of beachfront parcels in the project areas. View a map of beach projects and properties requiring easements at www.ircgov.com/easements.
2020/2021 Goals and Objectives
Beach Project Design, Construction, and Monitoring Related Activities
- Construct the Sector 5 Beach and Dune Restoration Project while continuing the design and permitting on the Sectors 3 and 7 Beach and Dune Restoration Projects.
- Continue working with the Sebastian Inlet District to manage the Sectors 1 and 2 shorelines.
- Continue countywide beach profile survey as part of the Beach Preservation Plan.
- Design a Coastal UAS Program to improve management of coastal resources.
Artificial Reef Program
- Continue to construct artificial reefs offshore of Indian River County.
- Create an artificial reef program website to promote visitation at reef sites.
- Design and draft an artificial reef management plan.
- Coordinate reef monitoring programs to document reef success and exotic lionfish populations.
Emergency Response and Recovery
- Assist the community in response to natural coastal emergencies, like hurricanes and fish kills.
Grant Related Activities
- Secure FEMA funds for the Sector 3 and 7 Beach and Dune Restoration Projects.
- Secure State funding for the Sector 5 Beach and Dune Restoration Project.
- Secure grants to continue expansion of the County's offshore artificial recreational reefs.
- Secure grants to continue the County's efforts to remove derelict vessels.
Sea Turtle Habitat Conservation Plan Related Activities
- Continue sea turtle monitoring under Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).
- Continue to successfully implement Amendment #1 of the HCP.
- Continue invited speaker engagements about sea turtles within County schools, HOA's, Condo Associatons, City and County officials, and local businesses.
- Continue Sea Turtle Trunk Programs for 5th and 7th grade within county public and private schools.
Public Outreach Activities
- Continue to implement outreach programs on sea turtles, natural resources, and dune vegetation.
- Partner with Coastal Connections to organize large-scale community outreach programs.
- Continue to work with KIRB to conduct annual coastal cleanups to remove debris from public waterways and secure community improvement grants.
- Construction of the Jungle Trail Roadway Stabilization Project.
- Finalize and adopt the 2019 Beach Preservation Plan update.
- Permit and Construct an emergency beach access at Round Island Park.
- Continue maintenance of channel markers and maintenance of marker buoys on the PEP reef.