Two Brevard projects receive priority funding

BREVARD COUNTY – In a recent announcement, the Army Corps of Engineers has decided to provide priority funding to two major Space Coast projects.

The two projects are part of the Army Corps FY2018 Work Plan, which will provide funding for the Canaveral Harbor Sand Bypass and the Mid Reach beach re-nourishment efforts.

“Port Canaveral is a critical economic asset for Central Florida. Ensuring access to our waterways and safe transit of cruise and cargo vessels are vital to this region’s economy,” said Capt. John Murray, Port CEO, in a recent press release from the office of Congressman Bill Posey. “We have a long-standing partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and are grateful to Congressman Posey for his efforts to ensure projects that are important to our operations received priority funding.”

“The sand bypass is a fundamental element to ensure navigability of the Canaveral Harbor,” said George Cecala, of the office of Congressman Bill Posey. “[Concerning the Mid-Reach re-nourishment efforts,] we have to protect our coastal areas and communities from erosion and flooding, especially after a storm. Lots of folks live along those areas, and if we do not re-nourish the beach, we face critical problems with flooding and erosion.”

There has been a growing concern by some Brevard residents, however, about the quality of fill that is being used for the re-nourishment efforts along the Mid-Reach, as well as the dangers that the fill imposes on the natural reef systems. The most outspoken of these is Matthew Fleming, who is the leader of a group titled, ‘Save the Mid-Reach’.

“What we are seeing now is NOT the beach widening project that we are fighting to prevent,” Save the Mid-Reach officials state in an online article. “This emergency nourishment is using 30-40,000 cubic yards of material, the project that is scheduled for the next two years will use over 600,000 cubic yards of material. This is enough to bury the entire reef under ten feet of sand/dirt.”

The Army Corps of Engineers plans for the Canaveral Harbor Sand Bypass project will be granted $16 million in priority funding, while the Brevard County Mid Reach beach re-nourishment project will receive $28.375 million in priority funding.