Canaveral supports sand protection project

'Atlantic' Derrick barge 'Atlantic' excavated a trench under the channel for a pipeline that will pump beach sand from the north side of the Port to beaches south of the inlet. Credit: Canaveral Port Authority

A Canaveral Port Authority-sponsored project aims to protect the coastal environment by moving more than 1.3m cubic yards of sand to replenish 3.5m of beach south of Port Canaveral in Florida.

The US$18m Canaveral Harbor Federal Sand Bypass Project began this month and will pump sand taken from the shoreline north of Port Canaveral along Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to beaches south of the Canaveral Inlet, from Jetty Park to a half-mile south of the Cocoa Beach Pier.

“Port Canaveral is an environmental steward of our land and waters. Our businesses, as well as the well-being of nearby residential communities depend on the responsible use and protection of our land and waters,” Port CEO Capt. John Murray stated. “The Sand Bypass project is critically important to preserving this coastal region, and we are grateful to our federal partners for their support and commitment to our area.”

Careful execution

The project is fully funded and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with additional funding provided by the Canaveral Port Authority and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

This month, the derrick barge Atlantic from construction contractor Norfolk Dredging Company of Chesapeake, Va., began excavating a trench across the Port Canaveral entrance channel for a temporary pipeline to transport the sand. The 24-inch-wide pipeline was placed just below the authorized depth of the inlet channel to not impact or interfere with vessels entering and exiting the Port.

The dredge Charleston will pump a mixture of sand and seawater through the pipe, across the inlet and onto the beach.

Work was deliberately scheduled to take place between late November through April to avoid sea turtle nesting season.

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