<br>Fort Pierce Coastal Engineering Services</br>

Project Description

Since 1996, Taylor Engineering has assisted St. Lucie County with its coastal erosion problems along a 2.3-mile stretch of Fort Pierce Beach. Initial tasks assessed the local coastal processes and environmental concerns, applied numerical models to characterize the effect of the Fort Pierce Inlet deep water federal navigation project on the beach; revised the inlet sediment budget; achieved local, state, and federal governmental consensus on responsibilities and funding; defined the offshore sand source in the Atlantic Ocean; secured perpetual public-use easements; and established beach fill templates to minimize hardbottom and other environmental impacts. Taylor Engineering also performed a beach economic study to determine storm damage reduction, recreational benefits, and the project’s benefit-cost ratio. Taylor Engineering obtained state environmental permits and water quality certifications to restore the beach in 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 with over 4,000,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from the Capron Shoal complex, located about three miles offshore, and Fort Pierce Harbor (2014 project). Working closely with state and federal regulatory agencies, Taylor Engineering prepared a unique plan to mitigate hardbottom impacts associated with beach placement. The plan components included construction of artificial hardbottom, exotic vegetation control on an island in St. Lucie Inlet, upper beach vegetation in the nourishment area, and enhanced sea turtle protection in the project area. Taylor Engineering also prepared plans and specifications for the nearshore artificial mitigation reefs and provided design, permitting, bidding, and construction administration services for an emergency beach nourishment project constructed with sand trucked from an upland source in 2011. Taylor Engineering has monitored the physical and biological aspects of the dredging and beach nourishment project since 1999. Biological aspects have included monitoring sea turtle nesting activity and the nearshore hardbottom annually and shorebird activity during project construction. Taylor Engineering also worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to obtain biological opinions for the  shore protection project. In 2002, St. Lucie County and USACE became concerned about (1) the chronic erosion, due to navigation project effects, experienced by the northernmost 2,200 feet of the project beach and (2) the approaching end date, 2020, of the federal government’s participation in the shore protection project. In response to those concerns, Taylor Engineering prepared a Design Documentation Report to address the erosional hot spot. Evaluation of erosion mitigation alternatives considered engineering, environmental, permitting, and cost factors. Later, Taylor Engineering prepared a Limited Reevaluation Report (LRR), approved by the USACE, to update project economics, change the renourishment interval, and include Section 111 inlet impacts in project cost share allocations. Applying the USACE’s planning model Beach-fx, Taylor Engineering is currently (2015) nearing completion of a draft General Reevaluation Report (GRR) incorporating T-groins and a proposed inlet sand trap as project features and seeking federal participation for a new 50-year period. Both the LRR and the GRR identify the National Economic Development (NED) plans and include environmental assessments and impact statements for the dredging and beach placement areas. The County also contracted Taylor Engineering to conduct a feasibility study of sand bypassing alternatives to supplement the federal shore protection project. Evaluations of alternatives addressed technical feasibility, effectiveness, environmental impacts, and costs. The multi-phase project ultimately involved a detailed study — including  wave, currents, and sediment flux measurements and fully coupled wave, current, and morphological numerical modeling — of creating a sediment impoundment basin within the Fort Pierce Inlet. The design and permitting phase of the sediment impoundment basin is currently underway.

Project Details

St. Lucie County
Over $6 million to date

Project Skills

  • Erosion Control