Beach Re-nourishment

The eastern boundary of the Village of Key Biscayne is 2,200 yards (approximately 1.25 miles) of Atlantic Ocean beachfront. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the beauty of the beach and ocean bordering the Village limits and can walk to the south unimpeded to the iconic Cape Florida lighthouse (Bill Baggs State Park) and to the north to Miami-Dade County's Crandon Beach Park.  Although the shoreline seaward of the mean high tide line is the property of the State of Florida, the Village is responsible for maintaining the beach area from the erosion control line generally located at the crest of the upland dunes eastward to the waterline.

2021 Beach Re-nourishment project:

As a result of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and natural erosion, the Key Biscayne beach needed repair. The Village secured Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Florida Division of Emergency Management grants that funded 23,000 cubic yards of sand for the beach renourishment project.  As the allowable permitted amount was greater than the volume that was funded through grants, Village Council had the foresight to self-fund an additional 8,000 cubic yards bring the total amount of sand placed onto the beach to 31,000 cubic yards.  The additional volume of sand funded by the Village was consistent with resilience goals aimed at maximizing shoreline protection. 

By widening the beach and restoring the dunes, the Village’s goal was to enhance shoreline protection and minimize damages that may arise from future storms. Working with Ferreira Construction, the Village added 31 thousand cubic yards to the beach and rebuilt the dunes, which included replanting native plants and removing exotic plants.

Each day, about 100 trucks loads of sand were brought onto the beach using the Public Beach Access Point (Sonesta Drive to Ocean Drive) running along the north side of Oceana. Those same trucks exited the beach using the Public Beach Access Point (E. Heather Drive) running along the south side of Oceana. Sand was staged in a large mound at the north side public beach access point and beach capable trucks shuttled sand to the section being re-nourished.

The 2021 project began on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 and the majority of the project was completed on April 23, 2021 - with the need to continue adding plantings into the summer months. 

Previous projects, include:

  • 1987: A one-time nourishment project was conducted in April through June of 1987 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to address the erosion of the Key Biscayne shoreline.
  • 2002:A comprehensive beach restoration project that included the installation of dunes anchored by native dune plantings along the length of the Village beach. Dunes help to retain sand on the beach that would have normally blown away during storms. This, in turn, prevents sand loss to the entire beach system while increasing protection to the uplands from waves and storm surge. Well-established dunes help to directly buffet and impede storm surge, thus protecting beachfront property, as well as inland infrastructure, from low and medium storm surges. The increased beach area provides expanded potential nesting habitat for threatened and endangered sea turtles. People and associated recreational activities are also supported.
  • 2008  "Hot Spot": In response to erosion from 2005 hurricanes, the Village implemented a dune restoration project within erosion "hot spot" areas in the vicinity of the Silver Sands and Sonesta hotels and in the vicinity of Ocean Club and the Beach Club.  Approximately 3,800 cubic yards (5,700 tons; 253 truckloads) of beach-compatible fill was truck-hauled to the dune areas and placed above the Mean High Water (MHW) line into the authorized beach fill template. Native dune vegetation was planted to stabilize the newly placed dunes, and the project was completed in April 2008. The design, permitting and construction was funded 100% by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • 2007 Dune Maintenance: The Village conducted dune maintenance which included the removal of exotic vegetation and planting of appropriate native dune vegetation.
  • 2012: Approximately 37,500 cy of sand was placed between R101+300 and R-107+600 from an upland sand mine. The renourishment project was undertaken to renourish erosion that occurred from Hurricane Sandy. This project was funded by FEMA as an Engineered Beach.
  • 2017: Approximately 26,100 cy of sand was placed between R101+750 and R107+750 due to impacts from Hurricane Matthew. Funding reimbursement was obtained through FDEP.

Beach Re-nourishment 2018 Moffatt and Nichol

Image source: Key Biscayne Beach Management Feasibility Study, Village of Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade County, Florida, February, 2018, Prepared by: Moffatt & Nichol and EAC Consulting

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