DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Last minute efforts to expand a beach re-nourishment project in Delray Beach could save millions of dollars and time.
Several feet of sand dune were swallowed up when hurricane Sandy's wrath and high tide collided in Delray Beach, exposing roots and creating mini dune cliffs.
Rick Edick lives along the north end of the public beach. He says last summer the dune stretched out another 20 feet, and the beach 60 feet beyond that.
Restoring sand could be very convenient right now with a re-nourishment project set for next month.
"We have the permits in place, the funding in place, all we need is a yes from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection," says Edick.
Beach residents are rallying the D.E.P. to piggyback on the current project, which will replenish 2.2 miles of beach. City leaders are on board to expand the boundaries near Atlantic to the north, and near Linton to the south. The D.E.P. however won't allow it, claiming the permitting isn't there. City leaders want the state to make an exception.
"We have the dredge, the sand and a beach in need," says Mayor Tom Carney.
Without D.E.P. approval the plan is dead in the water. The city has three weeks to change that.
Edick fears without any re-nourishment, the dunes will only get worse.
"People come here for the beach, and when there's no beach they go to the dune and damage the system further," says Edick.