Army Corps beginning $500,000 study of erosion on St. Johns County beaches

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Nearly four years after Hurricane Irma and five years after Hurricane Matthew, Congress has allocated $500,000 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin a study of erosion along North Ponte Vedra Beach.

Over the last decade, the St. Johns County coastline has been eaten away by those two hurricanes as well as other passing storms and nor’easters.

David Ruderman with the Jacksonville District of the Army Corps said they now have the money to start a coastal storm risk management study.

“The core will develop a possible approach which is to protect the coast,” Ruderman said.

This project will be very similar to the Vilano Beach restoration project that will be completed in March.

“We placed over a million cubic yards of sand on the beach there,” Ruderman said. “I think it’s about a 2½-mile stretch.”

The coastal survey could take up to three years to complete and won’t cost any more than $3 million -- that cost to be split between the Jacksonville District and St. Johns County.

“Given the current world status with sea-level rise anticipated in the future, the core Jacksonville District, in particular, is actively involved in studying -- looking out over long-range periods of time -- 50 years 100 years -- to understand what the dynamics of coastal erosion and protection are and develop most effective means of dealing with this status quo,” Ruderman said.

Once the cost agreement is signed by both St. Johns County and the Army Corps, the study will get underway.