Boynton Beach dredging: Is mud being pumped on the beach?

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The beach renourishment project in Boynton Beach is underway. It is part of the Hurricane Sandy restoration efforts. Sand is pumped up from the bottom by a dredge just offshore, then right onto the beach, where bulldozers spread it around evenly to widen the beach.

State permits require similar sand be put back on the beach. That's the issue some people think, that's not what's going on right now.

Tom Warnke from the Surfrider Foundation is one of them. "We got hosed with a quarter mile of mud, " he said..

Some environmental groups claim somewhere along the line the dredge hit some silty sand recently, and continued to pump it on the beach. 

So we thought we would do a little experiment. We put the native Florida sand in a jar with clear fresh water, and the dredged sand in a jar with clear fresh water too, and we mixed them around.

Tom Warnke talks about the results. "Our native sand settled out immediately…it's nice and clear again. The dredged material did not, it's NOT going to stay on the beach, " he said.

Ed Tichenor with Reef Rescue explains "When the waves come in, it gets lifted up and the current carries it out and then it settles out as mud on the coral. We just want to make sure it doesn't get onto the reef offshore because right offshore is Lynns Reef. It's one of the best last reefs in the state of Florida, and we're going to protect that reef."

Todd Remmel of the Surfrider Foundation says "We're not against these projects, we just want to make sure that they are properly monitored and carried out as the permit states."

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is sending an inspector out to do just that.

Results will be posted.

For more on the new hi-tech way environmentalists' are monitoring dredging and other environmental projects, read the front page of the Palm Beach Post Monday and watch exclusive video on

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