Federal dollars on hold to replenish public beach in Delray

State, County have already pledged $2 million each

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Boston's is hopping despite the off-season in Delray Beach, thanks to its proximity to the water. General Manager Mark DeAtley says it's the beach that brings business.

"We have tourists coming from all over the world to enjoy the beach at Delray and they spend money at our businesses, the beach is vital to us," says DeAtley.

About once every decade, a major re-nourishment project expands the beach to protect the turtle nesting habitat and tourism. It replenishes what wind and erosion naturally take away.

At $9 million it's a pricey project, one that can't be done without government funding. Palm Beach County and the state have agreed to pay $4 million total. Federal funding for another $5 is still not guaranteed.

John Gergen, the owner of Luna Rosa, says the city has no choice. He says the sand is disappearing.

"It's very necessary to keep the beach revitalized to attract the people we've been attracting for year," Gergen.

Tourists may not notice the difference but resident who have lived here for decades say once a re-nourishment is complete, the beaches stretch out another 100 feet.

"I've watched this beach go through two restorations and it always increases business," says Gergen.

The project spans almost two miles north from Linton Blvd. If the federal funding comes through, it could be complete by the end of the year.

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