BOEMRE Authorizes Offshore Sand Resources for Shoreline Restoration in Florida
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced that it has authorized the use of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) sand resources for the 2011 Pinellas County, Fla., “Federal Shore Protection and Restoration Project.”
BOEMRE signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the County of Pinellas to dredge up to 1.8 million cubic yards of OCS sediment to restore eroded areas along 8.7 miles of shoreline. The areas to be restored include the Sand Key portion of Clearwater Beach, Belleair Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, and North Redington Beach.
“BOEMRE’s Marine Minerals Program provides OCS sand resources that help reduce the effects of erosion and preserve the integrity of our nation’s shoreline,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “We are pleased to be able to work with communities such as Pinellas County to restore and protect its coastal environment.”
Florida’s barrier island beaches need regular replenishment because of frequent storms and the every day force of waves and currents. Pinellas County protects its barrier island beaches with the Pinellas County Beach Erosion Control Project. Sand is placed along the shorelines of Sand Key, Treasure Island, and Long Key to control shoreline erosion and provide greater storm protection.
Planning for this project began in 2009 and BOEMRE (then the Minerals Management Service) cooperated with the County of Pinellas, Fla. in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. An Environmental Assessment was completed on May 17, 2011.
Through the MOA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will dredge sediment from a borrow site that lies 12.8 statute miles west of Clearwater Pass. The project is expected to begin in June 2011.