Duval County beaches get top honors for restoration

Project includes Jacksonville, Atlantic, Neptune beaches & Hannah Park

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter, Quan McWil, News4Jax news intern

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association named the Duval County Shore Protection Project one of 2019's best beach recovery efforts.

The project covers 8 miles of shoreline of Jacksonville, Neptune and Atlantic beaches as well as Hannah Park. Along with providing the best beach experiences and economic stability for local communities, the nourishment project has also restored the habitat for shorebird and marine turtle nesting.

“We’re very fortunate," said Kevin Bodge, a marine engineering consultant. "We have developed and maintained a robust beach and dune system starting in the late 1970s."

Following Hurricane Dora, sand collected offshore, moving through pipelines and onto the beaches.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, beach restoration cost over $30 million dollars after hurricanes Irma and Matthew scarred the beaches and dunes.

“Having to restore a beach area with over 1.2 million cubic yards of sand, to put it in perspective, that’s about the size of 500 to 600 Olympic-size swimming pools of sand,” said Jason Harrah, the project manager. “To have to put the sand on the beach back-to-back after a major storm event, it is somewhat unprecedented.”

He said the beach is in a healthily restored condition. The next scheduled nourishment is in 2023.

As the Army Corps of Engineers plans to complete restoring dunes and vegetation by the end of July, Harrar encouraged the public to keep off the dunes.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.