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Deeper Inlet, Wider Beach: Dredging Almost Finished

Source: The Palm Beach Post

A dredge boat works in the Jupiter Inlet at DuBois Park in Jupiter on Monday.
The boat started drawing sand out of the inlet last week, and the estimated 60,000 yards3
to be dredged are being used to rebuild the beach at Jupiter Beach Park.
Routine restoration estimated to cost about $738,000 this year.

JUPITER - Jupiter Beach Park is getting wider and the Jupiter Inlet is getting deeper.

A dredge boat in the inlet at DuBois Park last week started scooping out about 60,000 cubic yards of sand - about 2,800 dump truck loads.

That sand is pumped through a hydraulic hose in front and south of the public restrooms at Jupiter Beach Park, where workers are spreading out the sand to make more beach.

When the project, budgeted at $738,000, is complete this week, Jupiter Beach south of the Inlet to the Ocean Trail condominiums will be about 100 feet wider. And the sand trap in the Jupiter Inlet should be about 20 feet deep, according to Mike Grella, executive director of the Jupiter Inlet District, the taxing authority paying for the project, which is being done by Pompano Beach-based Cavache Inc.

"Regular dredging of the sand trap is done to keep the inlet open for boats," said Grella of the man-made trap, which is about 1,100 feet long and about 200 feet wide.

The $738,000 price could go down once inlet officials determine the exact amount of sand that was dredged from the trap.

If the amount is less than the estimated 60,000 cubic yards, the price will be reduced, Grella said.

While agreeing that building up the beaches is necessary, Tequesta resident Tommy Kuensel said dredging is an expensive process.

Federal, state, country, and local dollars have paid for about $225 million in beach rebuilidng projects int he past 15 years on the county's 46 miles of beaches between Coral Cove Park in Tequesta and South Ocean Inlet Park in Boca Raton.

About $26 million is being spent this season on rebuilding Palm Beach County beaches, according to country records.

"What are you going to do? We need the beaches for our economy and to protect the waterfront," said Kuensel, gathered with several other residents Monday afternoon watching workers spread the sand using heavy machinery.

Dredging the Jupiter Inlet during the winter is a regular procedure to give boaters passage to and from the Atlantic Ocean.

Since 1988, there have been only six years the inlet was not dredged, Grella said.

Hurricane Sandy's powerful winds in 2012 brought an extra amount of sand into the inlet. About 70,000 cubic yards were dredged. The price that year was about $930,000.

"I guarantee next year, we will be back here doing the same thing. The ocean will take all this sand away. Nature is going to do what it's going to do," Kuensel said.

Reprinted from The Palm Beach Post

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