FEMA Dune Enhancement Project

FEMA Dune Enhancement Project

Update

FEMA Dune Enhancement Project Town Hall – October 14, 2021 – St. Johns County is hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the upcoming FEMA Dune Enhancement Project and the temporary partial closure of Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park. The meeting is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, at the Link, 425 Town Plaza Avenue. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the project and provide feedback to county staff. For more information, please email coastalprojects@sjcfl.us, or call 904.209.0260.

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved an approximately $34 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dune enhancement project on Tuesday, June 15.

The project will focus on strengthening the coastline dunes in Ponte Vedra Beach, South Ponte Vedra Beach, and the southern three-quarters of a mile in Crescent Beach. The emergency dune enhancements will provide extra protection to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, and will be an added defense for our coastline against future storm events. The project is currently in the permitting phase, with work anticipated to begin in September and be completed by Spring of 2022. Due to the volume of sand authorized by FEMA, trucking has been identified as the only viable construction option. There may be intermittent beach closures within designated work areas due to sand placement, tidal conditions, and other public safety-related factors.

Project preparations began in July. St. Johns County is currently accepting voluntary temporary easements from property owners in the approved project areas who wish to participate in receiving additional dune protection. Easements will be accepted throughout the project, as long as the request is made within two weeks of the project reaching the property related to that particular easement.

A portion of Cornerstone Park in Ponte Vedra will be used as a staging area for the project. This project will also utilize access points at Mickler's Landing Beachfront Park and other suitable private lots. Access to Mickler's Landing Beachfront Park will be restricted for beach visitors Monday through Friday. A portion of the parking lot and the beach walkway will remain open on weekends. The Fort Matanzas Beach access and parking lot will be closed entirely through October as a staging area and construction access to the southern-most ~ mile of Crescent Beach, from Summer House condo north to ~8324 A1A S. All project areas will be continually monitored for protected species and environmental impact.

Project Details

  • The project will enhance the existing dunes on 11.5 miles of beaches by placing up to 480,000 cubic yards of sand and planting dune vegetation, as conditions allow.
  • On August 4, 2021 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) issued the Joint Coastal Permit for this project
  • Project Location:
    • The northern 9 miles of Ponte Vedra from the Duval County line to the GTMNERR northern boundary
    • The GTMNERR southern boundary to 2537 S Ponte Vedra Blvd
    • Fort Matanzas Ramp North to 8324 A1A S
    • Project Map Link

Funding

The project does not cost any additional money to the oceanfront homeowners. The project is funded through the FEMA Public Assistance program and County funds.

Schedule

  • Equipment Mobilized to Beach Access
    • Fort Matanzas Ramp Closed – September 7, 2021
    • Mickler's Landing Closed – Fall 2021
  • Construction Start – Fall 2021
  • Construction Completion – Spring 2022

A Project Progress Map from the contractor will be posted weekly.

Temporary Construction Easements

  • The County will be collecting Temporary Construction Easements for sand and plantings to be placed on the seaward portion of the dune on the oceanfront properties in the approved areas.
  • The easements will last for 18 months, or until the project is complete, whichever is less.
  • The easements do not authorize access through the properties yards. All work will be done from the beach.
  • Please contact the Coastal Management team at 904-209-0260 or coastalprojects@sjcfl.us if you have not sent in your easement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where will the sand be placed?
    • Sand will be placed on the seaward portion of the existing dune, landward of the high tide line and lower than the current dune crest.
  • How will the project affect current beach walkovers?
    • No sand will be placed over any part of the dune walkover, unless specifically requested by the property owner.
  • Will this project obstruct ocean views?
    • The new dune feature will not be higher than the existing dune crest.
  • Will this project impact my property tax?
    • No, and the homes that receive sand will do so at no additional cost.
  • What is the project schedule?
    • The project is anticipated to begin in September and be completed by Spring of 2022. The start time will depend on the permitting actions of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Wildlife Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Where can I track the progress on this project?
    • Regular project updates will be posted on this webpage.
  • Will the project affect access to the beach?
    • Every effort will be made to safely maintain pedestrian and vehicular access to the beaches, and most will remain open for the duration of the project. There will be temporary closures to the parts of the beach where work is occurring.
  • How were the sections of the beach selected?
    • FEMA policy determined which portions of the coastline are eligible and how much sand each section will receive.
  • How can I view the permit application on my browser?

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Coastal Management team at 904-209-0260, or coastalprojects@sjcfl.us.

FEMA Dune Enhancement Project

Click for Larger View of FEMA Map

FEMA Map - Click for Larger View