Walton County Beach Nourishment Project Moves Forward

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Walton County officials are taking the next steps to nourish nearly 20 miles of beach in what they're calling the Walton County Hurricane and Storm Damage Renourish Project.

"Well we need to go out and see what the current conditions are. We've had some erosion since the last surveys were done a couple years ago. Not a lot but there are some impacts that have occurred" said Coastal Management Consultant Brad Pickel.

For the past ten years county officials have been keeping tabs on South Walton beaches as the nourishment project has progressed. After getting approval of the project, officials are now ready to take the next step.

"We're going to have surveyors on the beach starting later this month. We'll have surveyors going out about every two hundred feet measuring the beach so that we can see what shape our beach is in now" said Pickel.

"This is a huge project for Walton County. It's going to be about 61 million dollars current estimate. Probably will be more by the time it's finished" said Visit South Walton Executive Director Jim Bagby.

Bagby says this is one of the biggest projects the county's ever had. He says the size of the project also makes for bigger benefits.

"Well it's huge. Our beach is our biggest industry. It's the thing that draws people down here. So what we are doing is basically doubling the size of our industry and the draw that we have" said Bagby.

Construction is estimated to begin in 2015. The federal project will have the backing of the government for the next fifty years in case a hurricane was to destroy any of the beaches covered.

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