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Martin County plans to protect beaches, roads from future storms

County to begin new coastal resilience project at Bathtub Beach
Child bitten by a shark at Bathtub Reef Beach
Posted at 4:33 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 19:10:03-05

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — With hurricane season nearly over, Martin County is looking to take on projects to protect its beaches and roads from future storm events.

Starting in the summer of 2023, the county will begin a new coastal resilience project at Bathtub Beach on South Hutchinson Island.

County Commissioners approved $3.2 million dollars in funding this month.

That should cover about 25 percent of the cost, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pick up the rest.

This project will be built in two phases. The first phase involves stabilizing the shoreline. That involves building a seawall under the dunes that beachgoers won’t see under normal conditions.

“When the dune gets compromised, we have to do an emergency project to bring in sand to restore the dune. The reason we restore the dune is to protect the road behind it. If we have those seawalls, we no longer have to do those emergency truck hauls,” said Public Works Director Jim Gorton.

Gorton said the second phase involves raising MacArthur Boulevard from its current elevation of just over 2 feet to 5 feet.

“During Hurricane Nicole, water levels reached between 3 and 4 (feet),” said Gorton.

“It sounds good, I wonder how it’s going to change the atmosphere,” said Susan Capasso of Jensen Beach.

The beach will have to be closed when the seawall construction begins.

This is not considered a beach renourishment project.

Jim Gorton said they will still happen in the future, but not as frequently.