First time PCB renourishment project extends through St. Andrews State Park

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 7:37 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Beautiful beaches are one of the main reasons so many people come to visit, and why some even stay. But strong storms can take a toll on our white sandy beaches.

“The (St. Andrews State) park has been severely eroded. The dunes have been cut off. I mean there is not a lot of sand for people to get out there and enjoy,” Bay County Tourist Development Council Executive Director Dan Rowe said.

It’s an issue Bay County leaders take seriously.

“No, it’s very important. The beach is. Why do people come to Bay County? The beach, the beach, the beach,” Bay County Commissioner Griff Griffitts said.

Parts of Panama City Beach will soon be renourished for the fifth time in its 2021 Beach Nourishment Project. And for the first time, it’s extending to St. Andrews State Park.

The project ultimately stretches the beaches out, giving locals and visitors more space to spread out with their towels, coolers, and umbrellas. It calls for roughly 2.5 million cubic yards of sand. And it isn’t just any sand either.

“We put a lot of engineering work ensuring that the sand is the same caliber and character as the sand that’s on the beach right now. Because the last thing you want to do is have a pretty white beach and put up a bunch of ugly sand on top of it,” Rowe said.

Keeping the beaches beautiful definitely isn’t cheap. Rowe estimates the Panama City Beach beaches to cost about $30 million dollars to fix up, and an extra $6 million for the State Park. But none of that money is coming from residents. The cost of the project is funded through grants from the federal government and the State of Florida.

Construction will start in mid-September. And officials said it should be completed by the 2022 Spring season.

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