By Ted Scouten
HOLLYWOOD, Florida (WFOR) — South Florida is known around the world for its beautiful beaches.
“That’s the reason we came here, from Columbus in the middle of the winter. It’s snowing in Ohio right now,” said Ohio tourist Alex Elofir.
Along with normal wear and tear, rare November and December storms left our beaches in rough shape in some places due to erosion.
That was right around the time a planned beach renourishment project was getting underway – replenishing sand from Hallandale Beach to Port Everglades.
“We’re doing this project with the Army Corps of Engineers to bring the beach back to what it once was,” said Jacob Rice. He is the program manager from Broward County.
“Pretty perfect timing. With those recent impacts, we were able to have the project already going to replace or put sand back that was lost recently,” Rice said.
Along the South Broward coast, some areas of beach are pretty narrow, and in need of sand.
“Every year we see stronger storms and that erodes the coastline,” explains Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy. He says renourishment programs are critical. Big ones like this come along every 7 or 8 years.
“They expand the sandy beach, increase recreational space for everyone who likes to enjoy a day on the beach. It’s also good for habitat that makes its life in the sand, sea turtles and birds,” Mayor Levy said.
And, renourishment projects have economic impacts as well.
“If we don’t maintain the beaches you’ll have wave impacts coming up to the buildings structures and seawalls where there is minimal beaches,” Rice said.
The cost for adding some 887,000 cubic yards of sand, is about 40 million dollars.
“That’s being funded completely by the US Army Corp of Engineers,” Rice said. “None of that’s coming out of our pockets.”
The project should be completed just in time for turtle nesting season.
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