NewsProtecting Paradise


Millions to be spent to replenish area beaches

Martin and St. Lucie projects to begin soon
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 18:07:27-05

STUART, Fla. — Beach erosion is a constant battle along our shoreline and while projects are wrapping up in Palm Beach and Indian River Counties, new ones are scheduled to begin in Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Bathtub Beach in Stuart closed in November and has yet to reopen, disappointing longtime visitors like Steve Heron.

“Well I noticed the sign right when we came in that it was shut down," said Heron.

Martin County Coastal Engineer Kathy Fitzpatrick says a scare from Hurricane Dorian and months of northeast winds have taken their toll on all county beaches, especially Bathtub.

“It’s just a much smaller beach and it shows the results of those impacts a lot quicker," said Fitzpatrick.

Bids for a new dredging project will be in this Thursday and work to replenish the sand there could begin in a few weeks.

“We do have a bid on street to do full restoration of project that goes from north end of Bathtub all the way to Sailfish Point," said Fitzpatrick.

The amount of sand needed on Bathtub Beach is 185,000 cubic yards; that's enough to fill 56 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The cost hasn’t been finalized yet but the project is about twice the size as one completed just last year with a $2.5 million price tag.

More sand is needed in St. Lucie County as well where, south of the Fort Pierce inlet, a lot of sand has been washed away with some areas only about 8-feet wide before there's a drop to the ocean.

Any work done along the shoreline needs to be wrapped up by May 1st, which is the beginning of sea turtle nesting season.