Beach Program

The Delray Beach Shore Protection Program consists of the design, permitting, construction and monitoring of approximately 2.6 miles of shoreline. The primary focus of the program is to provide for the protection and enhancement of the beach and coastal resources in accordance with State and Federal permit conditions.
The City maintains a thriving coastal beach and strand dune ecosystem.  Coastal dunes serve a number of functions, including trapping and stabilizing wind blown sand, keeping sand off the street and on the beach. The dune also provides a protective storm buffer that can reduce flooding and wave damage during heavy storms.  The sandy dune also provide a habitat for over two hundred plant and animal species.  The City’s coastal dune system, is almost entirely man-made and must be actively managed to balance engineering, recreational, aesthetic and maintenance needs. The City provides active management of the various dune components, including invasive exotic species removal, strand zone pruning, planting specifications, fertilization, irrigation, survival criteria and replanting.
To date, the City of Delray Beach (the City) has participated in eight beach nourishment projects. Approximately 7.9 million cubic yards of sand from offshore borrow areas have been placed as a result of the City’s and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)’s beach preservation efforts.  Since the initial nourishment of 1973, the City has maintained the beach through planned, periodic beach renourishments on five occasions, including 1978, 1984, 1992, 2002 and 2013 (tan shaded rows Table 1). Storm damage repair projects (blue shaded rows Table 1) were constructed by the USACE in 2005 in response to losses from the active 2004 hurricane season and in 2014 to repair damages from Hurricane Sandy (October 2012).

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PROJECTS

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Upcoming Early 2020 - Army Corps of Engineers Flood Control & Coastal Emergency Project

A portion of Delray’s beach will be under construction during early 2020 as part of U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s (USACE) Shore Protection Project – Ocean Ridge and Delray Beach Segments, Beach Renourishment. This project is being constructed specifically to repair damages sustained from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Approximately 325,000 cubic yards will be placed between R-184.5 and R-188.5 (~2,000 ft. south of Casuarina Road to the City’s southern limit, ~ 1,000 ft. south of Atlantic Dunes Park). Beach compatible material for the project will come from a permitted borrow area, offshore of Delray Beach.

While this storm repair project will only affect the southern portion of the beach, the City is currently planning for the 6th Periodic Renourishment Project, which will address longer term sand needs throughout the City limits. Construction of the maintenance project is tentatively scheduled for winter 2020/2021, pending beach monitoring results.

UPCOMING EVENTS

WHERE IS THE PROJECT TAKING PLACE?

This storm repair project will span from approximately 2,000 feet south of Casuarina Rd. to approximately 1,000 feet south of Atlantic Dunes Park. In total, approximately 3,800 feet of the beach will be receiving sand.

WHEN WILL THE PROJECT OCCUR?

Mobilization is anticipated in January 2020 with construction starting in February and completing by April 2020.

HOW MUCH SAND WILL BE PLACED AS PART OF THIS PROJECT? HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO PREVIOUS PROJECTS?

This storm repair project will place approximately 325,000 cubic yards of sand. To date, the City has participated in eight beach nourishment projects. Approximately 7.9 million cubic yards of sand from offshore borrow areas have been placed as a result of the City’s and USACE’s beach preservation efforts as detailed in Table 1. Since the initial nourishment of 1973 (green shaded row Table 1), the City has maintained the beach through planned, periodic beach renourishments on five occasions, including 1978, 1984, 1992, 2002 and 2013 (tan shaded rows Table 1). Storm damage repair projects (blue shaded rows Table 1) were constructed by the USACE in 2005 in response to losses from the active 2004 hurricane season and in 2014 to repair damages from Hurricane Sandy (October 2012).

WHERE DOES THE SAND COME FROM THAT IS PLACED ON THE BEACH?

The sand for large-scale beach nourishment projects such as this come from our permitted, offshore “borrow areas”. The borrow areas for this project are located approximately 3,000 feet offshore of Atlantic Dunes Park.

WILL THE BEACH BE CLOSED DURING THIS PROJECT?

For the duration of the project, beach access through Atlantic Dunes Park will be suspended, the parking lot east of A1A and the southern parking lot west of A1A will be closed to the public. The northern parking lot, west of A1A and bathroom facilities will remain open for public use.

Portions of the beach will be closed during active construction that may restrict the public from traversing along the shoreline. Please abide by all safety fencing and do not enter the construction area.

WHY IS THIS PROJECT IMPORTANT?

In 1973, the first nourishment of Delray Beach was constructed in order to protect critical upland infrastructure. Since then, approximately 7.9 million cubic yards of sand from offshore borrow areas have been placed as a result of the City’s and USACE’s beach preservation efforts. The retention of material within the project area has continually improved, without significantly changing the renourishment volumes of each major renourishment.  Beach renourishment projects, such as this one, not only provide recreational beach width for the benefit of residents and visitors, but during storm events, the sand also provides critical protection for structures and infrastructure landward of the beach. In addition, a healthy beach provides habitat and nesting areas for species such as sea turtles and shorebirds.

This beach nourishment management program is very much like a roadway or other such infrastructure, as in once it is built, it must be maintained. The work you see is maintenance that will help ensure continued use of a sandy beach and storm protection for the upland.

HOW DOES THE SAND GET TO THE BEACH?

The sand is dredged from the offshore borrow areas by a cutter suction dredge, then pumped through a submerged pipeline. The submerged pipeline, runs from just off the beach up onto the beach and connects to the shore pipeline, which runs laterally along the dry beach. The sand is discharged as a water/sand slurry mixture through the pipeline, and bulldozers reshape the sand to meet the designed construction template.

WHO IS THE DREDGING CONTRACTOR?

The dredging contractor selected by USACE is Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD). GLDD previously constructed the 2013 beach nourishment project in Delray Beach, which placed over 1 million cubic yards of sand from offshore borrow areas.

Learn More

Beach Nourishment PROGRAM

The City has one of the most successful beach maintenance and preservation programs in the United States.

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Post-Construction

The two most recent completed beach nourishment projects were constructed between January 2013 and May 2014.

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Sea Turtle Nesting
Monitoring

The Federal and State permits for beach nourishment require annual sea turtle nesting monitoring on the beach.

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Beach Tilling

The permits for beach nourishment require pre-sea turtle nesting season beach tilling to loosen the sand in anticipation of the nesting season.

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Dune Management Program

The City maintains a thriving coastal beach and strand dune ecosystem. Coastal dunes serve a number of functions, including trapping

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Atlantic Dunes Park

This project aims to improve the Atlantic Dunes Parking Lot drainage and water quality concerns and then repave the entire lot for improved use.

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The City of Delray Beach holds a Joint Coastal Permit (JCP) with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the USACE for the sand nourishment of the beachfront with offshore borrow areas.  The permit has conditions specific to the beach nourishment/construction activities, marine turtle and manatee protection, monitoring and reporting.  Physical monitoring of the beach is performed annually and includes topographic (onshore) and bathymetric (offshore) surveys of the beach and offshore.  The monitoring data is used to assess, with quantitative measurement, the performance of the beach replenishment projects.  The monitoring data provides the City and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection information necessary to plan for the next renourishment project, evaluate the beach performance and optimize the design of the next beach renourishment project.  The JCP’s marine turtle protection conditions include annual surveying for marine turtle nesting activity and egg relocations (as necessary) during the nesting season. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), qualifies and issues marine turtle permits under authority granted to the state through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The turtle conservation program requires reporting on hatching and reproduction success rates; also involves inventory and excavation of nests on our beaches.