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.
Emergency Dune Repairs
- Hurricanes Ian and Nicole damaged dunes along many miles of Florida’s coastline, including 5 of our County beach parks. Construction for our Emergency Beach Park Dune Repairs will begin on January 9th 2023 and is projected to wrap up by February 28th, 2023.
- The goal of this project is to stabilize the dunes at the public beach parks. Dunes are a first line of defense during a storm, protecting upland structures including homes, business and roads. In addition, dunes provide habitat for many threatened and endangered species, including nesting sea turtles.
- Dune nourishment involves stabilizing the existing dune structure using sand from an approved upland mine. This type of project is designed to reduce further dune erosion and vulnerability to upland structures from additional storms. Dune nourishment is a common method of shoreline protection on the County’s beaches, protecting upland structures and preserving habitat for endangered species.
The following video shows an aerial drone comparison of sand erosion at Tracking Station Beach park between July 2022 and Dec 2022.
Sector 7 Beach and Dune Restoration Project Update
On March 8, 2022, Staff presented to the Board of County Commissioners an update on the status of the Sector 7 Beach and Dune Restoration project along with the current number of obtained easements. At that meeting, Staff presented the Board with several options for the project based on the current number of easements still failing to meet the 90% goal (54 easements recorded reflecting 66% of the project area easements). After lengthy discussions and acknowledgement that the targeted number of easements was still not met, staff was directed to delay project once again, now targeting construction during the November 2023 to April 2024 construction window. Read the full Sector 7 Beach and Dune Update letter.
Beach Nourishment Projects Easements
Under the Beach Preservation Plan, Indian River County coordinates beach and dune restoration projects. During these projects 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 restoration projects, the County requires 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.