Fernandina’s Beach Nourishment Winter 2017/18

Nearly $33 million for Fernandina Beach sand renourishment plus dredging marine channel near Fort Clinch and King Bay Navy Base.

According to a news release issued November 20, 2017 by the Jacksonville, Florida District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a $32,859,630 contract was awarded to the Dutra Group for the next scheduled maintenance dredging of U.S. Naval Station Kings Bay and sand placement at Fernandina Beach. (See the most recent update, an Amelia Island video and photos of beach nourishment process wrapping up March 22, 2019, “Sand, Submarines and Sea Turtles”).

St. Marys Inlet

The project includes maintenance dredging of the entrance channel and parts of the inner channel, returning the project to its authorized depths. It also includes escarpment removal at Fort Clinch State Park and beneficial placement of beach compatible sand the northern portion of Fernandina Beach in Nassau County.

Here’s a great aerial photo of Fort Clinch, as posted by the JAX division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, when announcing this dredging project:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District awarded a $32 million contract to the Dutra Group for the next…

Posted by Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday, November 20, 2017

For those not familiar, note that in the beginning of 2017, a dredging/beach project was conducted here, as pictured below, ships and pipes seen at Fort Clinch State Park. (This dredging and beach nourishment occurred after October 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, which damaged the Fort’s pier, leading to the pier’s removal in May/June 2017, but prior to September 2017’s Hurricane Irma.)

Dredging Channel at Fort Clinch
Dredging Channel At Fort Clinch (Photo From Archives, Mar. 2017)

According to the news release, using sand dredged from the Kings Bay Entrance Channel on Fernandina Beach will result in an overall cost savings of approximately $13.5 million.

Sponsored by the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and the City of Fernandina Beach, the project is critical to commercial cargo transiting the port and also to the Navy base, which shares the entrance channel.  The St. Marys Naval Base is home port of Trident Class submarines.

Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection contributed $1.6 million to the project allowing sand placement in critical areas on the beach. According to comments made at the city of Fernandina commission meeting held Nov. 21, 2017, the city’s portion ($1.6 million) is being covered by funding from the Florida DEP and Amelia Island Tourist Development Council.

740,000 Cubic Yards

The awarded beach placement area starts near Fort Clinch State Park’s coastal boundary near New York Avenue and will go as far south as near Sadler Road.  The Corps estimates the contractor will place about 740,000 cubic yards at Fernandina Beach. The contractor will disperse about 1,020,000 cubic yards of non-beach compatible sand between the approved nearshore disposal area and an offshore disposal site.

December 2017 To March 2018

Construction is expected to begin in December 2017 and will last three months, to be completed by March 31st, 2018. Project updates will be available at www.saj.usace.army.mil, Facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict and Twitter.com/JaxStrong.