The city of Delray Beach is investing in its beaches. Since March, a research vessel was looking for sand on the ocean floor to use for beach renourishment.
The city contracted APTIM from Boca Raton to help with the project. The environmental engineering company spent weeks on a sand search investigation off the shores of Delray’s beaches. The research vessel would pull sand from the ocean floor and bring back samples for testing. “So we are looking at the color, grain size, looking at shell content,” said project manager Tara Brenner. Tubes of sand will be tested to see which one is the best compatible to mix with the beaches in Delray.
“We are very fortunate that we are finding great results,” said Brenner.
Mayor Shelly Petrolia said Delray’s beaches are a prized feature for the city and they must take a probative role in protecting them. “We are pulling sand from offshore and putting it back on the beaches, so it’s our sand,” said Petrolia. The last beach renourishment in Delray Beach was in 2013, and this roject will set Delray up for another 10 years of protection. “It is protecting the roads and the residents all of the other city infrastructure behind it, it is protecting paradise,” said Brenner. One renourishment project will begin in November and that will help with Hurricane Irma damage. That project will use sand from the 2013 renourishment.
APTIM said it will continue to analyze the sand it pulled from the seafloor and once they find sand that works, it will ask the state for permits to start digging the sand up. Brenner said that could be a few months from now.