Bathtub Beach re-nourishment projects questioned

Paul Zuccarini appreciates the 1600 tons of new sand on Bathtub Beach's dunes. He expects it to protect his home across the street from Sandy's wind and waves.


But Zuccarini says the county needs to weight the cost. A county spokeswoman says it has spent more than $1 million on Bathtub Beach sand restoration since 2008.


County coastal engineer Kathy FitzPatrick says it's not the county, but the state, that controls sea wall development. And besides, she says, "It's the beach that the people want to come to. They don't want to come to bathtub wall."


FitzPatrick says that's why it's important to keep the eroded beach as is, just adding sand when needed. She says it does a good job protecting Macarthur Boulevard, an evacuation route for more than 250 homes.


Kay West lives just up the road, and she agrees with the periodic restorations.


"Because of the benefit it provides for the county, in terms of tourism, and it's one of the most popular beaches," said West.


District 1 County Commissioner Doug Smith says he's asked a lot, why don't you just harden the shoreline? And he says his answer is this:  "We want to protect the best natural dune line and shore line that we can. It's important to us."


Commissioner Smith says sea walls create new problems, but the county is considering hardening the area behind the dune line, to at least protect the parking lot. 


FitzPatrick says the restoration process will continue for the next couple days. 

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