The Army Corp or Engineers are getting ready to start dredging off Palm Beach and Singer Island.
The dredge "Texas" should be in place in the Lake Worth(Palm Beach) inlet February 8th, and will start cleaning out the settling basin, or sand trap that sits just off the north jetty on Singer Island. This is regular maintenance that is required every year. The trap is basically a 35 foot deep hole that catches all the sand drifting southward(that the pumping station doesn't get), keeping it out of the channel, thus preventing the inlet from filling up and closing.
This year the trap will be expanded to more than double its current size. (see photo, area outlined in yellow)
The sand will be pumped onto the north end of Palm Beach near the water line, where mother nature will wash it downstream and help replenish beaches to the south.
Daniel Bates, the Deputy Director for Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management says the expansion was necessary. "The Corps will still need to dredge every year, but historically, the trap fills faster than that, which means more sand gets in the channel and causes problems for navigation before the annual event."
The dredging operation should be completed in two weeks(Feb 22nd) and will move about 300,000 cubic yards of sand.
After that, the dredge will head down to Delray where sand from offshore will be pumped back to replenish beaches damaged by Hurricane Sandy's swell.